Sunday Post – 20th November 2016

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Sunday Post

This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

This week has been a lot calmer, thank goodness. I cannot believe that there is only three more weeks to go before we break up for Christmas – where has this term gone? I received the news on Friday that both next term’s Creative Writing courses have now sufficient students to run, which is a lovely position to be at this stage in the term.

This week I resumed my Fitstep and Pilates classes after a two week break – and realised just how fast I’d lost ground in my efforts to keep fit… it was a struggle! On Thursday, my writing buddy Mhairi came over for the day and we both got plenty of writing done, as well as putting the universe right. And on Friday morning, to celebrate Himself overcoming a miserable spell at work, we treated ourselves to an outing – we went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at Chichester, then had lunch out together. I’ll be reviewing the film this coming week.

I’ve only read two books this week and one of those is a children’s book, but I’ve been working hard on my rewrite for Miranda’s Tempest and after having made a really strong start, I’ve hit the boggy mid-book bit. As I’m also making a major viewpoint change, it is slow going for the time being, until I hit the final few chapters, which I’m confident will be mostly as is.

This week I have read:
Synners by Pat Cadigan
In Synners, the line between humanity and technology is hopelessly slim. The human mind and the synnersexternal landscape have fused to the point where any encounter with ‘reality’ is incidental. Now you can change yourself to suit the machines – and all it will cost you is your freedom. And your humanity.

This award-winning cyberpunk adventure from 1992 is eerily prescient and well worth the effort of slowing my normal reading rate right down so I could fully appreciate the technical world-building. It took a while to get going, but is a satisfying, thought-provoking read and an apt reminder of why science fiction is my favourite genre.

 

Clover Moon by Jacqueline Wilson
clovermoonClover Moon’s imagination is her best escape from a life of hardship in poverty-stricken Victorian London. When tragedy plunges her into a world of grief, Clover realizes that everything she loved about the place she called home is gone. Clover hears of a place she could run to, but where will she find the courage – and the chance – to break free? And could leaving her family be just what she needs to find a place that really feels like home?

I love Wilson’s gritty, tender writing and this Victorian adventure about a child born into a London slum was impossible to put down once I opened it up. And for those who enjoyed Wilson’s awesome Hetty Feather series, there is a wonderful scene where Clover meets up with the indomitable Hetty. I’ll be reviewing this one in due course.

 

My posts last week:
Sunday Post – 13th November 2016

Review of Songs of Seraphina by Jude Houghton

Teaser Tuesday – featuring Synners by Pat Cadigan

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of An Empire Asunder – Book 2 of The Scourwind Legacy by Evan Currie

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Friday Faceoff – The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play… featuring Storm Front – Book 1 of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Review of The Silver Tide – Book 3 of The Copper Cat series by Jen Williams

Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

All the Gear and No Idea Guide to Maintaining Fitness in Wellington http://memoirsonthemove.com/maintaining-fitness-wellington/ In this enjoyable article, Jess charts her efforts to find a suitable pilates class after recently settling in New Zealand from the UK. But you don’t have to go around halfway around to world to pick up some sound practical tips if seeking a suitable exercise class.

These Words are Knives and Bridges https://jeanleesworld.com/2016/11/17/these-words-are-knives-bridges/ There are times when people who have undergone terrible experiences take the brave, generous decision to share them in all their raw messiness with rest of us. Jean is one such courageous person and I honour her for it. It doesn’t hurt that she also happens to write like an angel…

Five Fascinating Facts about John Skelton https://interestingliterature.com/2016/11/18/five-fascinating-facts-about-john-skelton/ This site is one of my favourites – and this particular article snagged my attention as John Skelton is an ancestor of mine.

That moment just before… https://photolicioux.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/that-moment-just-before/ Another favourite site – and this beautiful pic says it all.

Many thanks for visiting and taking the time and trouble to comment – and may you have a wonderful reading and blogging week.

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34 responses »

  1. Yes, three weeks left in the semester, and it’s all over but the shouting! My shouting will be gratitude for a month off. My class (I only take on one, 24 people total) has also filled to capacity, and I have already received a request to get in my closed class. Am hoping to see Fantastic Beasts tomorrow (Sunday). Did you see it in 3D or 2D?
    I finished A Gentleman in Moscow, which you know, because you visited my blog. Thank you. It would make a great book club read IF you could convince the members to take on a book of its length. I learned so much about Russian history and read slower as I approached the end because I didn’t want it to be over! (That good!) Now I am faced wth the wonderful quandary of what to start next.
    I went to a reception for our retiring librarian and came home with a book (when have I ever left the library empty-handed?), so I’ll consider that first.
    I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ve got a birthday to get through between now and then. My mantel is already filled with cards, and a former student sent me a lovely tote bag from Boston with the original map of Boston printed on it–waterproof and a good snap on it too! Another former student sent Ruby Red grapefruits, oranges, trail mix with dried fruit, and a rum cake in a lovely gift box from Harlingen, Texas. I like their gift boxes so much I ordered them for my two nieces in Virginia this year for Thanksgiving.
    God is good and I am truly blessed.

    • That sounds like a fantastic week, Rae:)). It’s always a relief when future classes are safely filled – mine are a lot smaller, with a maximum of 14 and if I don’t get a minimum of 12 students, they won’t run. What a lovely lot of gifts… Being in the UK, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but I’ve always thought it a lovely custom and wish we did.
      As for Fantastic Beasts – we saw in 2D, as a specky four-eyes with variable lenses I have major difficulty with the 3-D glasses, which always give me a crunching headache. But I highly recommend it and look forward to hearing your take on this one. Have a wonderful week and many, many thanks for swinging by and sharing your week with me:)).

    • Thank you for your kind encouragement regarding the rewrite – it is something of a trudge at present. As for Fantastic Beasts – oh yes, comes very highly recommended:). Have a great week, Laura and many thanks for your continual support and for swinging by.

  2. Good to hear this week was a bit calmer for you. And that’s great news your courses for next term have enough student to run, must be nice to know that now already. Sounds like you had a great outing seeing the movie and lunch. Will have to remember to stop by for your review of that next week.
    I had a bit of a slow reading week as well and didn’t manage to finish anything at all, although I did finish a book this morning. I hope next week will be a good one for you!

  3. I am barely going to make it to Thanksgiving break! Then we have 3 weeks after that before Christmas break! Its rough! Glad you already know your classes are a go for next semester! Thats great!

    • I’m not surprised you’re shattered, Samantha – I think this is an exhausting term. And we don’t have the double whammy of Thanksgiving, closely followed by Christmas. Thank you – I need a minimum of 12 students to enrol before the classes will run, so it’s lovely that box is already ticked well before I break up. I hope you have a chance to relax a bit during the week – take care:).

  4. It does seem crazy that Christmas is so close. I have so much to do before then! I love this time of year though.

    I am glad to hear enrollment is good for the two Creative Writing courses coming up. That is a relief.

    I haven’t been exercising as of late because of the nasty cold I caught. I really need to get back into it, especially this time of year when food is such a big focus.

    I am really looking forward to seeing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I hope you enjoyed it!

    I hope you have a wonderful week, Sarah!

    • I have a theory the reason why I feel so ambushed by Christmas this year is because the weather has been so very mild. I know what you mean about the exercise – we just had a 2 week break and I’m shocked at just how fast I’ve lost ground. I loved Fantastic Beasts and I’ll be reviewing it tomorrow. Thank you for you good wishes and I hope you, too, have a great week:)

  5. Glad to hear that next terms classes are a go! And yes Christmas is rocketing towards us- can’t believe it and I just need to accept that it will be here like tomorrow and I better start getting ready!

    I like cyberpunk but don’t often find a lot of it to read, so when I do find a good one it’s always nice.

    I really want to see Fantastic beasts. As someone who has only read one Rowling book I won’t have the optimal background info, but from the looks of it I’ll still enjoy it. I’ll kee an eye out for your reviews as I enjoy seeing what people think of these movies. 🙂

    • I’ll be reviewing the film tomorrow, Greg. And you won’t need to have read or watched any of the HP films, but if you enjoyed the feel and production values of the franchise, then you’ll really like this one.

  6. I’m glad you’ve got enough students to ensure the class goes ahead! (And that it was a calmer week!)

    I’ve recently restarted yoga but would like to resume pilates as well, although there’s only one place offering it locally. I’ve emailed them a query but still waiting to hear something back!

    • Oh yes – I do recommend pilates – I’ve lost at least a couple of inches all over and it is largely down to improving my muscle tone and reclaiming some of the fitness I used to enjoy as a younger woman. Hope you soon hear back from your class.

  7. This year has been an incredibly fast moving one. I mean, we’re most of the way through November and December is upon us which always goes too quickly for my liking. Let’s hope 2017 is a bit slower!

    Hope you overcome the writing bog! And that you recover your fitness quickly – I’m sure you will on both counts. 😉

    I want to go and see Fantastic Beasts but don’t think I’ll make it this time so I’ll have to wait for the DVD release. I’m busy rewatching the HP movies slowly with some girlfriends and wee just finished Goblet of Fire last night. Now I can’t wait to continue!

    Synners looks so interesting and I can’t believe it’s not something I’ve ever heard of? I’m going to have to look into it some more! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Hope you have a great week!

    • Thank you, Di:). Yes… this year has zipped past at head-swivelling speed, hasn’t it? I’m glad you’re enjoy rewatching and enjoying the HP films – I think you’ll love Fantastic Beasts when you get around to seeing it. Yes – Synners is really worth reading. I hope you, too, have a really great week.

  8. I wish I only had three weeks before a break from work – so jealous. I was laughing about your pilates comment because I started yoga again this week after quite a break and boy did it hurt! Hopefully this week will be less painful for both of us. Emma

    • Yes – sadly, I had to pull out of my Fitstep class on Monday as I’d gone down with a cold. Fortunately, I’ve managed to fight it off so am hoping to make pilates again tomorrow – fingers crossed I’m not so stiff and sore this week!

  9. Glad you’ve got yourself a more quiet week. I can relate to falling behind with being fit, I’ve been slacking for quite a while now :(. It’s hard to come back but from what I’ve noticed: it does take less time each time you try than it initially took to start, so fingers crossed you’ll feel fit in no time!

    • Yes – it was a relief and this is another quieter week – which is just as well as I’ve another couple of really busy weeks coming up and am horribly unprepared for Christmas! Thank you for you kind encouragement re the fitness – the exciting development is that I’m now slimmer than I’ve been for years!

      • I’m with you on the Christmas. My mom’s already sent us a gift (“because it’s better if it arrives too early than too late”) and I feel soooo behind.
        And congrats on being slimmer! 🙂 It’s a wonderful feeling, isn’t it? I’ve lost quite a lot of weight since I’ve moved to US, and if I was more consistent with my workout, I’d be back to where I was 10 years ago. *sigh*

      • Yes – dressing up to go somewhere is becoming something of an adventure as I can now get into clothes I haven’t been able to wear for years:). And I’m sure you’ll get there:)

  10. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that the year’s almost over, too. Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and though I’ve started my Christmas gift-shopping and party-planning, something feels “off” for me… Maybe it’s the fact that part of me wants to relax after finishing Draft #3, but because of X and Y and Z, I haven’t found or made the time to do it yet? :S

    That’s great about your attendance for next semester’s classes! And best of luck with edits on Miranda’s Tempest. Especially with the viewpoint change. Are you adding / deleting a character’s perspective, or something to that effect?

    • I’m changing the pov – though that wasn’t the issue, but I think it feels less modern and more in keeping with the style and tone and I’m slimming down the plotline and focusing more on the whodunit aspect of the narrative arc and the theme of Life-time that I introduced, but didn’t successfully develop. Hopefully it will make this a far stronger book.

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