calissa: (Default)
20140529 Callistamon bud 3 HDR

(New growth on a Callistemon 'Little John')

What are you doing/thinking/wondering/making/reading/etc. that you don't normally post about? It has been a while since I have done one of these and I thought it would be a good way to post about non-holiday stuff

Doing: I recently acquired six boxes of second-hand books from an acquaintance who was otherwise going to throw them away. Such books would normally be donated to the local crisis-counselling telephone service for their bi-annual fundraising book fair. However, my acquaintance tells me they're no longer accepting paperbacks. I'll be seeking to confirm this once my friends, family and writing groups have had a chance to pick through them. My sweetheart very kindly waded his way through the boxes to my computer and spent a morning helping me to catalogue what was there. My acquaintance is threatening to send another four boxes. I don't mind rescuing the books but I didn't properly consider the imposition on my time, energy and space this would take.

Watching: While down with a cold late last month, I started rewatching the TV show Castle featuring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. It has long been comfort viewing for me. I've also got the fifth of "Richard Castle's" Nikki Heat books to read and so I have been rereading the series in conjunction with rewatching the show. I've just finished Season 3 and have therefore just started on the third book.

Thinking: I'm still processing my thoughts on the return of Doctor Who but it left me prickly. I'm not entirely sure the new doctor was behaving any differently from the last two doctors but the way it came across definitely had resonances of dementia (at least to begin with). Considering how ham-handed they were with Clara (and with Madam Vastra) I'm not sure I can bring myself to think it clever.

Reading: As mentioned above, I just started reading the third of the Nikki Heat books, Heat Rises. I had a review to write for the second book, but have managed to misplace my notes. Suffice to say it doesn't hang together well as a series, since they seem to use a different ghostwriter for each book. I find that makes it hard to settle into the story to start with.

Wondering: September is known around here as "cake month" thanks to all the birthdays. It is truly a month of madness for me and the most stressful part of my year. A couple of years ago I began the practice of not accepting any social engagements other than birthday parties during September. I'll admit that I'm not always very good at sticking to that. I also tend to turn down any editing jobs taking place in September. This year, I'm wondering if there are any other self-care practices I should be engaging in to help make my life a bit easier. I suspect making sure I get enough sleep should be on there. I've not been getting quite enough lately and as a consequence am not quite at my sharpest.

Writing: Still working on Heartwood. Slow and steady wins the race, right? But only if you really are working steadily.

Drinking: I'm currently drinking the Jane Austen blend from Gillards of Bath. A very thoughtful friend brought it back from England as a gift several months ago and it is quite possibly the nicest tea I've ever had the pleasure of drinking.
calissa: (Default)
20140520 Sky 9 HDR


What are you doing/thinking/wondering/making/reading/etc. that you don't normally post about? It has been a while since I have done one of these and I thought it would be a good way to post about non-holiday stuff

Doing: I'm back to swimming after a break of about a month. It wasn't intentional--a few different things were conspiring against me. My shoulder had started playing up again during the break, so I'm glad to be back to it (though I overdid things a little on the first time back).

Watching: On the anime front, I've been watching Sailor Moon Crystal on Crunchyroll. I was never into the original when it aired during my years at high school, but I have become a lot more interested in anime since then.

I am also watching a new anime called Glasslip. It is produced by P.A. Works who turn out the most gorgeous-looking animes and I have enjoyed most of the stuff they have released. This particular show is about the daughter of a family of glass artisans. When she stares into glass she has visions of the future. It is also about the changing relationships between her group of friends in their last year of high school.

On more of a RPG theme, RollPlay have just started up a sci-fi campaign called Swan Song. Utilising the Stars Are Infinite system, the campaign is being run by Adam Koebel. I totally have a new GM crush. He co-wrote the Dungeon World system and his style of game-running clearly speaks of intelligence, passion and long experience.

He and my other major GM crush, Steve Lumpkin, have also just started posting up a segment on GMing they're calling Playing Everyone Else. If you're interested in tabletop RPGs at all--as player or GM--it is well worth checking out.

Thinking: An acquaintance of mine has been getting on my nerves a lot lately. Ze does a lot of complaining about suffering from writer's block but seems to feel that in order to be published, ze needs to write in certain kinds of ways and in certain formats. This single-minded focus on publication seems to press a button of mine. I recently came across this wonderful article from Australian horror writer Peter Ball on why you don't really want to be published--it is simply shorthand for another goal. I'm wondering whether this person's reason for wanting to be published is fundamentally different from mine or whether it is simply our manner of getting there. Or perhaps we have different levels of patience with the process.

Reading: I'm in a weird in-between place with my reading at the moment. I'm slowly making my way through a gardening book put out by the local horticultural society and have been for months. However, I don't have a primary book that I'm reading because I can't decide on what I want to read. My sweetheart has made off with my Kindle in order to read some out-of-print Warhammer books and everything I kind of want to read is on that. Which is ridiculous--I have a zillion print books on Mt TBR, surely I should be able to find something I want to read. If anyone wants to make suggestions, you can check Mt TBR and my 2014 acquisitions list for what I have currently available.

Wondering: A while back, I began studying the AODA Candidate curriculum. I am almost finished--just some loose, time-consuming ends to tie up--but I have been pondering whether this is something I really want to do. While I think their curriculum is great, I'm not sure their philosophy and cosmology is really something that works for me.

Writing: Still going on Heartwood. I originally started writing the story a year or two ago and then shelved it for some unremembered reason. I'd only written two scenes and a bit. When I came back to it this year, I felt it needed rewriting and I bashed my head repeatedly against the first scene, trying different things. I finally got something to work and have been concentrating on getting the words for this new version down on the page without worrying too much about what still needs fixing. I have now caught up to where I was when I first shelved the story and am looking forward to breaking new territory.

Drinking: My mother-almost-in-law recently gifted me with some rose-scented tea that she wasn't fond of. I have zero problem with this because I absolutely adore rose-scented teas.

Earl Grey is generally my default tea (unless it is Twinings which I find way too harsh). I've been drinking much less of it over the last few months but I find myself starting to come back to it.
calissa: Macro photo of a clover leaf covered in frost (Winter)
20140707 Frost Macro 4 HDR

[personal profile] kaberett's 10 Good Things post reminded me that it has been way too long since I did something similar myself. I don't want to only update this journal when I have something to grumble about. So, some things.

For a while now, I've been wanting to replace my seasonal icons with photographs I've taken. Winter was the very last one because it is hard to find something quintessentially wintery while still capturing the feel of the place I live. Well, at the beginning of the week there was a thick frost in the morning. The light was perfect enough to convince me to get dressed and brave the cold for some macro photos. I was pretty pleased with how they turned out.

There was more photography on Tuesday. I went on an excursion with my sister and dad to one of the national parks. We had a picnic lunch, then walked the lyrebird trail. We were lucky to hear a couple of male lyrebirds perform their mating call, mimicking the calls of a dozen other bird species. No sight of the birds themselves, but just that much was amazing. I hope to post some photos later--after I've snaffled some of my sister's awesome shots to share with you.

Writing is coming along slowly but steadily. I'm still not managing much in terms of word count, but I have noticed that it is slowly increasing. And the fact I'm sitting down consistently is starting to have a cumulative effect. I am a very long way off finishing the story, but I am happy with the progress I am making.

My grandma is currently in town for her 90th birthday. She came to visit yesterday and it was lovely to spend a little bit of time together. There will be a family lunch tomorrow, which I am looking forward to.

Also: doggie cuddles (one up side of winter), gorgeously sunny days, rose-scented tea, time in the garden.

And this amazing mash-up by Vienna Teng.

calissa: (Default)
What are you doing/thinking/wondering/making/reading/etc. that you don't normally post about? It has been a while since I have done one of these and I thought it would be a good way to post about non-holiday stuff

Doing: Mostly just easing back into routine. Yesterday I went swimming for what was the first time in probably a month and surprised myself by being able to swim a full kilometre. Tonight I'm heading off the the monthly meeting of the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild where we'll be having a guest talk on firearms. Could be useful for some of that post-apocalyptic stuff.

Watching: I'm making my way through an anime called No Game, No Life. It's about a brother and sister who are prodigiously talented gamers--to the point of being an urban legend. One day, they are transported to a world where all disputes are solved by playing games of all kinds. It's a fascinating setting and the story has a great premise. However, I find the extreme co-dependence of the main characters a bit disturbing and the fan service, while not as overwhelming as in other shows, is tiresome and unnecessary.

Thinking: I've been invited to sit on a guest panel on editing anthologies for the monthly meeting of the Canberra Society of Editors at the end of the month. It is a challenge to consciously articulate a process that has mostly been instinctive for me. I think it will be an interesting event. This won't be the first time I've sat on a panel about editing anthologies, but it will be the first time where the audience is primarily composed of other editors rather than writers. That should have a big impact on the feel of things, since writers are mostly concerned with what they should be doing to get published (or so has been my experience).

Reading: I'm currently reading (among other things) The Vinter's Luck in hopes of finally getting to [personal profile] lynnoconnacht and Memory Scarlett's review of the same. It is a fascinating story but I find I can only read a little bit of it at a time. Fortunately, it is nicely structured for small chunks.

Wondering: The last time I wrote one of these periodic ponderings I was contemplating starting up a poetry practice. That didn't happen. Now I am contemplating starting up a blog connected to my editing website. I wonder whether this is also something that is never actually going to eventuate.

Writing: Currently wrestling with Heartwood. The story just doesn't seem to want to let itself be written. I am determined to press on, regardless.

Drinking: My ritual morning cup of tea is currently oolong, despite oolong being my least favourite tea to drink (not that I hate it, mind). The tea was brought back from Japan for me by my lovely uncle and aunt. It sounds like they will be visiting us again at Christmas.

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