Monday, October 23, 2017

Since I've been gone...

A lot has happened since I last posted. I had to make an unexpected trip to Florida to help my mom (who has NO WiFi!!!) who had surgery. It was very good to see her though I wish it had been under better circumstances. Usually we go out and do stuff and I take lots of pics. But there wasn't much of that since she wasn't up to it. I did however manage to take two pics I will share.

I saw this guy on one of my mom's plants. He was LARGE. Way bigger than the grasshoppers we have in Maine. She wanted me to kill it because he would eat an entire plant in no time. I couldn't. I did have a talk with him and didn't see him again.

 This is a wild flower growing on my mom's porch. We tried to identify it but couldn't. Anyone out there know what this flower is?

I also saw a rainbow on my way back from seeing Blade Runner 2049 a few weeks previous.

 Blade Runner was awesome, by the way, and I highly recommend it though you do really need to see the first one.

Finally, I completed this, a 'copy' of a work done by Edward Gorey.  

It took me a while but I'm fairly pleased with the way it came out.

The weather is still nice here, thankfully, though very very dry. We've had almost no rain in months it seems. It rained more in Florida in the week I was there so I have to hope we'll get some soon though it will be dreary.

Still working on my new WIP, 23K, and I read three books, one of which I will be telling you about on Friday for the Cephalopod Coffeehouse.

Now, tell me what's up with you. Something interesting must've happened in the last few weeks.

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse - The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and how cats can really fuck things up

Welcome to another edition of the Cephalopd Coffeehouse. The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.

This month I'm going to tell about The First Fiftten Lives of Harry August by Claire North

 Before I tell how much I loved this book, I first have to tell you why I'm so late getting this post up. Last night I was writing merrily away and took a short bathroom break. When I returned to my laptop, I found my cat, Mel, in my chair and a bunch of gobbledygook on my screen. I managed to delete it all - with some difficulty I might add - and then went to write this post. Imagine my dismay upon discovering my key board no longer worked.

Of course, I knew instantly that in addition to writing a bunch shite in my document, Mel had also pressed one of those hot keys that do things like turn your screen upside down (yes, this has happened to me - only I did it by accident and it took me forever to figure out how to fix it!!!). Which is fine as long as you're the one who hit the hot key, cuz then you know how to change everything back. Only I had no idea which key, or combination thereof, Mel pressed to make the keyboard non functional. I was almost going to restart my computer when I realized if I did I'd have no way of entering my password.

So I called my brother J (thank God he answered and thank God my mouse still worked) and he did a google search for 'keyboard not working.' This did not particularly help so he tried adding the words 'cat stepped on my key board.' Immediately a bunch of answer popped up. Imagine that.

It took a few tries but finally he found the solution by going into keyboard settings and finding the filter box(whatever the heck that is) checked off which shouldn't have been. Apparently there's a hot key for that and my little Mel managed to find it.

Bad Cat!

Anyway, I unchecked the box and my world was right again but it was too late to write this post. Hence my tardiness. Nevertheless, I am here now, and I can honestly say that I give The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August 5 stars. 

I loved this book. Why? Because it's about one of my favorite subjects, living your life over. That's what Harry August gets to do.

His first life is unremarkable.He's born in the early part of the 20th century, grows up, fights in the war, gets married and dies having lived a pretty good life more or less. It's his second life when things get interesting. When Harry is around 7 or 8, he begins to remember his last life and is overwhelmed by not only the memories but the knowledge he suddenly possesses. He ends up being committed to an institution for the insane and throws himself out a window. His third life goes a little better but I'm not going to tell you any more because you should really read this book. It's a little like Groundhog Day except Harry keeps living his whole life over and over.

I think I especially love this book because it uses a theory I have long considered. What if the Big Bang has happened over and over. Bang, universe born, expands and then I don't know, pops and then everything resets. It's quite possible that we are all living the same lives over and over like Harry. Now imagine if that were true. What would you do with your next life?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Viles Arboretum

Viles Arboretum is a 224 acre botanical garden and arboretum located in Augusta, Maine, with 5 miles of trails, open year round without charge. The plant collection contains over 300 species or varieties of trees and shrubs.

My son and his gf and I went there yesterday for our Sunday walk. Here a few pics...

I saw signs for a lilac garden and flowering trees which makes me want to go back next year when more things will be in bloom. Meanwhile, I've tallied up 17k on my new WIP, averaging 2,800 words a week, which is pretty good for me. Currently reading The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.

What's new with you?

ps almost forgot a house update...

It's looking good, no?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday pics - end of summer

I am always surprised by how quickly summer passes. Always. One minute it's summer, the next fall is rolling in. I can see it in the leaves changing their colors, the way the green is faded, and the back to school signs.  Pretty soon it will be pumpkinfest again and this year I hope to NOT be a slacker and get some pics. For today it's a mish-mash of everything I've noticed lately.

 This house is on my way to work. It was empty for a while, then someone started working on it. Fixed up the yard, and totally gutted the inside. I know this because at one point the entire front of the house was open.
They also built this little addition - a mudroom I presume.
This awesome sunflower is growing in the gravel driveway at the pawn shop where I work.
These adorn the front entrance.
Along with these cleomes (Aren't they pretty?!)
and these whatever they are
 Inside the shop, these two retro lamps which are kinda neat

And a little more progress made on the house (I don't know why I find this interesting but I do)
What's left of the wildflowers in our yard
A spiky black-eyed-susan
These pine cones are everywhere in the woods just beyond the house. I can hear them dropping through the branches from the porch.
Coming out of the woods. If you look you can see all those green pine cones hanging from the upper branches of the evergreens.
I believe this is Queen Anne's Lace before it pops
 And yes, we do have the lone rooster. He's rather handsome, no?
Plants on the porch, some of which will have to come inside soon
And a succulent

My week in pictures!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Monday Pics - Penny Lake

On Sundays I usually go walking with my son. Last weekend we went to Penny Lake Preserve in Boothbay. We parked across the street being unsure of its exact location but quickly found it behind the Carousel Music Theatre.

and so entered the preserve...

Nicely groomed path as you can see.

And then there was a field, which was probably much more colorful a few weeks ago

It was here on this little bridge crossing a marsh that my son's girlfriend and I waited for him to catch up. He was looking for birds. When  he did arrive at the bridge he startled a bird that couldn't have been more than a few feet from us.
courtesy of
Yeah, I didn't get that picture but that's who flew up and away before any of could snap a pic. We walked on through some of this
before coming to this mowed path
which led to my spotting the purple tree in the distance
and discovering the end of a development (disappointing, I was hoping for something more interesting). On the way back I found these

Most weren't ripe but I did find a few to eat as did my dog, Jonah. He loves blackberries. Also saw these pretty little pink flowers. No idea what they are...

and this stunner, also no clue

 We walked back via a different path and I saw this Mountain Ash, which some 5th graders planted.

Love the bright red.

In other news I'm working on something new which I hope will turn into a real WIP. I'm about 75% sure it will. Also read another book that I loved called The First Fifteen Lives of Henry August which I will talk about at the end of the month for the Cephalopod Coffeehouse.

Now. What have you been doing?

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse - The Lies of Locke Lamora

Welcome to another edition of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, brought to you by The Armchair Squid. The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.  Please join us:

This month I'm going to talk about a book I mentioned before as being in the unfinished category for much too long: The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch.

  The problem was not with the writing or the characters or the plot. The problem was that the author had drawn me in so well and made me care so much about the main character, Locke Lamora, and his Gentlemen Bastards (translated, fellow thieves), that I was afraid for him and them because I had reached a point where I knew something terrible was going to happen. Things had been going far too well for Locke (if one can say such a thing about an orphan who is saved from death by a thief pretending to be a priest), and I happen to know that there is often a direct correlation between how well things are going to how bad they're going to get.

So. I had to stop reading for a bit. But after writing about the fact that the book remained unfinished I decided to pick it up again. And there I was, back in Camorr (a place drawn exquisitely, I might add) with Locke, who's about to pull off a very sweet and massive heist. I so wanted Locke and his mates to get what they were after.

I'm not going to tell you whether they do or don't or anything else except that I really loved this book and Locke, who's such a clever little bastard and yet so likeable. No mean trick.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes fantasy or just a good heist story.