eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

It's Thursday, right?

So I fell behind again. This past week ended up being way more than I expected, and being online was my lowest priority, to be honest. My father-in-law was finally feeling better, so I did my best to help him make the best of the last of his stay. He leaves tomorrow. It's going to feel very quiet around here without him.

One of the highlights from the past week? I finally know what play I'm directing for the festival. It's an adorable thing about, believe it or not, two cell phones in love. It totally makes me smile. Plus, one of the best parts about it is that I'm not limited by age. I can cast young, old, or in-between. I won't be pulling my hair out like I was last year, hoping to get an old enough man to play my lead. Auditions are next week. It's one of my favorite parts of the whole process.

I think I should be easing back online, though. I do work the next couple days, but our systems are back online for our patrons so I can actually do shelving and holds and the like instead of shifting huge sections of our library because I literally have NOTHING ELSE TO DO. That should mean I'm not coming home from work exhausted and can do other stuff. Like writing again. Fingers crossed.
merlin - percival victory: petits-bouts

Blessed relief

Someone recommended a book about stretching to me a bit ago, so I requested it from the library. It showed up last week, but once I'd flipped through it, I decided it was worth buying to try. It's called Relaxercise, and it's basically just various stretches---small, slow movements---that target different parts of your body (lower back, hands, feet, etc.). It showed up on Sunday which meant I started trying it on Monday.

Dude.

It recommends doing no more than 2 or 3 different exercises a day, but I decided to go through each one first to see which I might feel the most benefit from. Monday was all about posture. Just basic stretches sitting on a chair. I felt pretty good afterward, but nothing amazing.

Tuesday, the exercise was about hips, but because I had to go to work, I decided maybe it wasn't the smartest move to do one that might end up hurting me right before I had to go be on my feet and walk around for four hours (which proved to be the smartest decision ever as I spent most of that four hours shifting books on shelves so tons of lifting and squatting). Instead, I did the next one for the lower back.

I finished that one and literally *bounded* down the stairs. I haven't done that in AGES. I have to hold a rail most of the time because my leg would collapse on me half the time if I didn't. Not only did I go down the stairs like nothing was wrong, I had almost no hip pain at for the rest of the day. Or yesterday. Today it started to get sore again, but only just.

Those stretches are the only thing that have changed for me. I can't believe what a huge difference they did. And for 10 minutes of the easiest stretches ever. One of the best things I've bought for myself in a long time.
books - reading dreaming: coloryourdream

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I've always wanted to do these Wednesday posts, but my reading is sometimes really slow and doesn't change a whole lot so I never gave it a go. But nothing says I have to do it every week, I figure (expect my obsessive tendencies). I can track my DNFs and finished books, too. None of those this week, though.

CURRENTLY READING

Her Sanctuary by Toni Anderson: Anderson is one of my autobuy romantic suspense authors but I'm caught up on her current series so I've been going through her backlist. She's come a long way since writing this, that's for sure. It's not awful, but I'm finding it more problematic than her more recent work.

The Undertaking by Thomas Lynch: One of the oldest books from my TBR pile. I actually bought it when we lived in England, which means at some point between 1999 and 2004. For being non-fiction about being a funeral director, it's surprisingly lovely and uplifting.

Positive by David Wellington: A zombie thriller that's a little light on the thriller for me. It's a quick read, though, and the writing isn't bad, so I'm sticking with it.

Mind Magic by Eileen Wilks: This is book 12 of a currently 14 book series I've been getting through over the past couple years. While it's gone back to the couple that is the core of the series (and why I got sucked in, in the first place), I'm not finding myself as engaged as I usually am, so it's taking me longer to get through.
mood - writing is hard (arthur): kathyh

Writing Words of Wisdom

I'm going to do these more often, because I'm in desperate need of the reminders and inspiration. But this one is how I've always viewed my stories.

“We often forget that novels have deep roots in storytelling, because books are objects, things you hold and read alone in your underwear. But I always try to connect the novel back to its roots: We’re sitting around a campfire, and now it’s someone’s turn to tell a story. I try to think of myself as a storyteller, rather than a ‘writer.’”

— Reif Larsen
eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

Pictures. Lots of pictures.

Our trip to Vegas and the Grand Canyon is done and gone, and this past week has been all about trying to get back on track. The problem with that was I worked three days and I've been taking care of my FIL, who managed to get sick the day we got back. So let's get caught up, okay?

1. Grand Canyon. Beautiful. We got some stunning pictures.

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2. Alex's lost backpack. Never recovered. Lesson learned.

3. My FIL caught a bad cold somewhere. He's been completely laid up all week, sleeping a lot, coughing even more. He's finally coming out on the other side of it, though the coughing is still pretty bad.

4. I spent three hours going through every kids DVD at work on Saturday, opening and closing every case, popping out the disc to see if it was damaged, and now my hands look like a disaster zone. I have three bandaids on in three different places and could easily add a couple more to protect some wayward scratches and sore cuticles. They are so sore and I'm very glad I don't have to be back at the library until Tuesday.

5. Almost as bad, I scratched my gum in the back of my mouth on something at lunch today. So my mouth hurts, too.

6. My souvenir from the Grand Canyon was a juniper tree lamp that I found at the Hopi House on the south rim. We arranged to have it shipped to us, and it arrived a week earlier than the minimum time they said it was going to take. It's so gorgeous, though the pic I got of it last night does not do it justice:

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7. And to finish off my weekend, I got confirmed as one of the directors for the upcoming Festival 10 for my community theatre (plays that are 10 minutes long). I don't know what play yet. Picking that will be this week some time.
btvs - faith etching: awmp

It's been good in spite of the bad

Well, we're in Vegas. We got here last night and went straight to dinner at an English pub off the strip that does very authentic British food. The best fish & chips we've ever had in this country, and excellent scotch eggs as an appetizer. I could even order a lager shandy and have it taste right. :)

Then it was off to the movies to watch Jumanji 2, which I loved. We had drama when we got to the hotel, however. That was when we discovered we didn't have Alex's backpack. He'd had it when we were at the car rental place, but someplace between there and the hotel, it disappeared. We eventually figured out that it had been left in the car rental garage when they were trying to rearrange the luggage in the back, but while an attendant said one had been turned in matching its description, it hadn't actually shown up in Hertz's lost and found. It might be in another one, but at this point, it's probably just gone.

And frankly, somebody got very lucky. It had Alex's brand new Switch that he got for his birthday, his iPad, and three brand new games that we got for Christmas. We're going to replace the Switch, because it's really not his fault, but there's still debate about the iPad. He used it for gaming mostly, but now that he's got the Switch, there might not be a need for it. Still. It's annoying to have the expenditure.

Today, we did three escape rooms - which we beat, though two got a little too close for comfort - and the kids went go-karting. Then it was dinner and a walk along the strip, though I stopped halfway through to play some slots. Craig's managed to win a little bit of money, but I haven't. I kind of wanted to play some blackjack tonight, but we're all dead. I will be crashing very soon here.
eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

Day one of a new year

New year, new beginnings! I'm a big fan of do-overs and starting fresh, in case that wasn't obvious from previous posts. I see some people reviewing their 2019, or being glad to see the back of it, but honestly, 2019 was generally a good year for me. I got the job at the library, which I love. I got to direct my first full-length play, which was a tremendous experience. It's true that my muse seems to have mostly abandoned me, but I'm hoping that will change with more discipline in 2020. I don't want to stop telling stories, even though my muse seems to have other ideas. I'll find a way around it. Toward that end, I have a brand new Passion Planner that I'm determined will keep me organized this year, including scheduling writing and keeping LJ updated. We'll see how that goes.

Our holiday has been very low-key. Christmas was fun, and New Year's quiet which is just the way I like it. We've been doing some rearranging in our house, too. I wanted a new storage solution for our games, so we ventured out to Ikea and picked up shelves that got put up over the weekend:

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I love them so much. The games are organized into different sections, and we can now see everything all at the same time. Before, we had them in three different places in our media room. Now, they're all along that one wall.

We leave tomorrow for a short trip, though. First to Vegas so that on Friday we can do the three escape rooms Alex wanted for his birthday. Then on Saturday, we head to the Hoover Dam for the FIL. After that, we drive down to Flagstaff so on Sunday we can take the Grand Canyon Railway up to the canyon, where we will then do a two-hour tour. My joints have been pretty bad the past few weeks, so no trekking for us, but it should still be pretty. Then it's back to Vegas to fly home on Monday. Alex will miss the first day back to school, but nothing happens on that day anyway.

My computer is going with me, however, so that I can get some very needed writing done on the car rides. It's going to give me time to get my schedule into place. One of the things I'm going to start concentrating on is strengthening my body. My joints are getting progressively worse, and I have to do whatever I can to help. One of the good things about cleaning our media room, however, was that I found my weights and resistance bands. Those will come in handy with the new plan. Because this living in pain thing sucks. I'm too young for this, damn it.
books - reading dreaming: coloryourdream

LJ Book Bingo - Book 25

TITLE: Where the Crawdads Sing
AUTHOR: Delia Owens
DATE FINISHED: November 26
BLURB: AFor years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life--until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.


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books - reading dreaming: coloryourdream

LJ Book Bingo - Book 24

TITLE: Outlander Kitchen
AUTHOR: Theresa Carle-Sanders
DATE FINISHED: September 2019
BLURB: AClaire Beauchamp Randall’s incredible journey from postwar Britain to eighteenth-century Scotland and France is a feast for all five senses, and taste is no exception. From Claire’s first lonely bowl of porridge at Castle Leoch to the decadent roast beef served after her hasty wedding to Highland warrior Jamie Fraser, from gypsy stew and jam tarts to fried chicken and buttermilk drop biscuits, there are enough mouth-watering meals along the way to whet the appetite of even the most demanding palate.

Now professional chef and founder of Outlander Kitchen Theresa Carle-Sanders offers up this extraordinary cuisine for your table. Featuring more than one hundred recipes, Outlander Kitchen retells Claire and Jamie’s incredible story through the flavors of the Scottish Highlands, the French Revolution, and beyond. Yet amateur chefs need not fear: These doable, delectable recipes have been updated for today’s modern kitchens.


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eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

Getting ready for Christmas

I've been busy the past couple of days getting ready for Christmas. Lots of shopping and deliveries to people who aren't family. In the midst of all that, the artistic director from the theatre group has reached out to me a couple times. First, she wanted to arrange a sit-down so that she could write down all the ideas I had pitched and organized during the meetings. I'm more than happy to do that, actually. Even as much as I don't agree with her politics, I don't want to see the group fail. We need community theatre here.

Then today, she emailed me again to ask for my advice on her announcement to the playwright finalists. When I gave her my tweaks/comments, she was rather effusive in her gratitude. It's a little disconcerting to realize how much she actually valued me. It does bode well that I'll be able to direct again, though.

We tried the cumberland sausages from the British butcher in New York for dinner the other night. They're the real deal and got big thumbs up from both Craig and his dad. We're saving the Lincolnshires and the bacon for Christmas morning so I can do a full English breakfast. Well, our idea of a full English - sausage, bacon, beans, fried eggs, and fried bread. Craig wants me to see if I can find duck eggs anywhere, so we'll see how that goes.

I'm still trying to come up with an idea for dessert for Christmas. I usually do apple pie for me and Alex since we don't care for Christmas pudding, but I want something new this year. Right now, I'm leaning toward a pineapple upside down bundt cake, but it's just not very Christmas-y.