calissa: (Default)
IMG_20170106_091732_677

Wow, the first week of the year has gone already.

Things have been a bit unsettled for the last few days. There have been a couple of factors. A weather change has been coming through, so Friday and most of Saturday were high pain days for me and left me feeling pretty wiped. It took me longer than it should have to realise I wasn't going to get anything productive done on Friday and settle in with a book instead.

Another thing that has been on my mind has been the demise of LiveJournal. I wasn't really active over there, but had kept my account to keep in touch with a few diehard friends who weren't really active anywhere else. However, now that LJ have moved their servers to Russia, even those few friends have jumped ship and joined up here. I've also gained a few new friends from [personal profile] st_aurafina's friending meme.

It's had me rethinking how I use this journal. I tend to swing back and forth about how much of my personal life I share in public and under filter. At the moment, I'm inclined to be a bit more public. I like getting to know people and I realise it can be difficult for other people to get to know me if everything is under filter. I expect at some point later down the track, I will swing back the other way again.

Also, why don't I write more about my fandoms? I grew up mostly without the internet and wasn't interested in the same media that my friends were. My consciousness of fandom didn't really start until just a few years ago. So I'm still getting used to the idea this is something I can write about and that people will be interested in.

Card call

Oct. 20th, 2015 01:31 pm
calissa: (Default)
20151010_085542

With Conflux out of the way, I am now beginning to look ahead to the next major event on the horizon: Christmas.

This week I decided it would be wise to start pulling together my list of people to send cards to. So if you would like a Solstice/Christmas/end-of-Gregorian-year/just-because card, please let me know. And if you think I don't have your mailing address, please leave that too. Comments are screened.
calissa: (Gift)
I'm a little later than I was last year, but the words still sum it up nicely.

I've been seeing a lot of Yuletide posts around. I'm not into fandoms, myself. However, seeing them reminded me that I need to start on some holiday writing of my own.

Although I'm Pagan, I've never quite shaken Christmas. It's very much a time of family for me (too much so--don't get me started on scheduling). I also find it to be an excellent time for expressing my appreciation to my friends via Christmas cards.

I know that there are friends of mine that don't celebrate Christmas... or the solstice or any religious holiday at all. However, if you would like a card from me, please let me know. It may help those of you who aren't sure or who have sensitivities to know that I get my cards from the local RSPCA--they do usually say "Merry Christmas" but are otherwise fairly secular and tend to feature a puppy, kitten or other cute furry animal. If this doesn't work for you but you'd still like a card, just let me know and I'll find something more suitable to send along.

Comments will be screened.
calissa: (Default)
As my last post probably indicated, things have been rather difficult on the work front recently. This weekend has gone some way towards remedying that, partly thanks to the fact that it was a long weekend locally. I spent most of it camped out on the couch, reading in my pyjamas. I also spent a few hours with a great group of local writers who were holding a mini writing retreat over the weekend at a house close by.

In fact, over the last few weeks there have been many good things helping to counterbalance the nastiness. Since so many of you lovelies have been struggling as well, I thought I would share some of these good things in the hopes that they will counterbalance more nastiness--and as a bit of a thank you to those that responded to my Little Things post (which I am still making my way through).

Let's start with the shinies. Ooo... shinies! )

Other awesome things that have kept me going:
  • My nephew (now four months old) is a wiggling bundle of energy. He can't yet walk or even crawl but spends a lot of time trying to jump around (especially when held). So my sister bought him a jumping harness which attaches to door frames and supports his weight enough that he can jump around. He absolutely adores this. My sister sent me a couple of videos and the cuteness makes my heart explode.
  • My sister was also awesome enough to bring me giant, homemade chocolate-chip cookies.
  • My grandmother was in town for a few days and I got to visit for a little while. It was nice to see her get another chance to nurse her great-grandson.
  • I also got to cuddle my nephew at my dad's birthday dinner just the other night. (Yes, my family is awesome. I don't know what I would have done without them).
  • Is there anything more joyful than a dog on a walk? ([personal profile] lizcommotion might argue that it's actually a dog playing fetch)
  • And, of course, doggie cuddles are pretty wonderful.
  • The leaves are changing colour with Autumn's arrival.
  • Which means lots of Russian Caravan tea in the mornings. Yum.
  • I've had some very interesting conversations on gender equality in anime (with specific reference to Log Horizon).
  • In fact, my internet friends as a whole have been fantastic about keeping me going. So THANK YOU!
calissa: (Default)
What are you doing/thinking/wondering/making/reading/etc. that you don't normally post about? I have added a few more categories this time to better reflect some of my interests :)

Doing: [personal profile] jjhunter recently brought to my attention a post from [personal profile] melannen on some exercises on the craft of writing. One of the things recommended in the post is "practice stupid language tricks" which covers things like doing crosswords. I have had a giant book of crosswords gathering dust on my shelf for quite some time now. Almost without meaning to, I picked it up and started working my way through it. I had forgotten how much fun it is. I rarely manage to completely solve them, but find that I don't really care since it is simply a way to exercise my language skills.

Watching: Still waiting for more R&D to be released. In the meantime, I have returned to anime. I got caught up on the most recent episodes of Naruto released on CrunchyRoll and have just started in on a new anime called Log Horizon. I heard about it through the excellent anime review blog of John Samuel, who I had the pleasure of meeting on the anime panel at the Australian Sci-fi Convention last year.

(As an aside, I highly recommend his blog. I find his reviews are always very astute).

The anime is about players who get caught in an MMORPG and can't escape; the virtual world effectively becomes their reality. This is the same premise as Sword Art Online which started out so well and then went terribly, terribly wrong (seriously, don't get me started on what they did to the female lead). I am assured that Log Horizon is much better but I haven't yet warmed to it. To be fair, I am only two episodes in.

Thinking: A conversation with a friend going through a tough time recently made me realise that some part of myself likes to think that I am a fierce warrior at heart. This amuses, baffles and pleases me by turns and I find myself wondering how this relates to my love of fantasy as a genre.

Reading: Weirdly, I am actually between books at the moment. I have been holding off a little on reading while I caught up on writing some reviews, though I think I shall resume again soon. A dear friend recently launched her first e-book and it is next on my list of things to read. It has been years since I first read this story and am excited to see what the final result is. If you like near-future fantasy featuring things with wings, you might be interested in checking it out.

Wondering: I have been pondering starting up a modest poetry practice but have been unsure where to start. There are so many possibilities! I think I am going to start with some of [personal profile] jjhunter's excellent advice and go from there. The sheer fact I am wondering bodes well for the return of my creative energy.

Writing: If you are an Australian writer, you may be interested to know that the CSFG have announced the theme of their next anthology. Despite the dreadful title, I am super excited about this opportunity to write some uniquely Australian speculative fiction--particularly because place is a preoccupation for me. Tonight I sat down and brainstormed some ideas. Tomorrow I shall look them over and try to pick a direction.

Drinking: Yesterday I had the opportunity to swing past my favourite tea shop yesterday and managed to stock up on the following:

20140225 Tea haul

The mornings are darker and cooler now, leading me to crave the Russian Caravan. It is very much a sign to me that Autumn is on its way.
calissa: A stalk with drying grass seeds sits in the foreground with a golden hill and blue mountains in the background. (Summer)
I am fortunate to have some fascinating friends. One of them is a landscape architect. We like to geek out about nature together and have been working on catching up more often to do things like visit national parks and go on nature walks.

Last weekend was the Australia Day long weekend and since neither of us eat meat we decided to forgo the traditional barbeque and celebrate in a different way. The Australian National Botanic Gardens had recently opened a new section they have dubbed the Red Centre Garden which features flowers from some of the more arid parts of the country. My friend was keen to visit and proposed that afterward we have a picnic dinner on the Eucalypt Lawn where a live jazz band would be playing as part of the Garden's Summer Sounds program. Needless to say, he didn't have to ask me twice!

Of course I packed my camera--so a warning: there are lots of photos ahead. Like about 15.

Flowers )

Red Centre landscape )

Rocks )

Sculpture )

Desert flowers )

Sydney region flowers )

Birds )

Carpark landscape )

The Botanic Gardens really are a beautiful place and next time I head back I hope to spam you with more photos!
calissa: (Default)
I've got a post coalescing in the back of my mind regarding place spirits. While I work on getting that clear I just wanted to do a quick update.

My health has been going a lot better since I started taking the antihistamines. I'm guessing that since I've been pretty much fine since I've been on them that I either have hay fever or an allergy to something. That'll teach me to laugh at the doctor's suggestion.

Having fully recovered, I went back to my swimming lessons last week. The teacher has been very impressed with how I've been going and has been looking for ways to make the class more challenging for me. Today he got me to tread water using only my feet. I managed twice as long as the other two (rather muscle-bound) students did and they got to use their hands.

On Wednesday night I went out with Andrea and some other friends to see the Avengers. It was a special session ran by the local comic book store and it featured a costume competition. There were some very impressive entrants. It was also a fantastic way to see the movie--the audience was polite and very enthusiastic. I love it when the audience is so into a movie that they'll actually applaud. Andrea seemed to enjoy herself as well.

I'll see her again this coming Wednesday. It would have been Jimmy's birthday and so she's planning a celebration. A number of his friends have been asked over for dinner and she'll be cooking a number of his favourite dishes. She's a wonderful cook and I know it will be a great night filled with lots of laughter, even if there is an undertone of melancholy.

My readathon efforts made a great impact on Mt TBR, even if my lack of willpower threatens to undermine the progress. I thought the like-minded souls here might like to see the graph I keep. The vertical axis represents number of books and the horizontal axis represents what week of the year it is. The red line represents this year (as you can see).
Mt TBR graph )
Now, if I can just keep that downwards trend...

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