Wednesday, October 28, 2020

#WriterWednesday 28-10-20; Author #Interviews + A #GuestPost + Writerly #Quotes And Links

 

 

     

I did a podcast interview where I was interviewed by Patty Fletcher of "Talk To Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing" recently.  It should be embedded at the top of this post, but if it didn't work you can easily listen to it here, or - if you have Alexa - tell your Alexa to, "Play Talk to tell it to the world marketing," and listen on that (if it plays an episode not featuring me, but you spacifically want my interview, just say, "Play previous episode," until you're on the right one). 

 

    Though I did stream for a while - streaming, for those who don't know, is doing a sort of online radio slot - many years ago, and did a radio interview once when I was new to publishing, this was my first time doing a podcast interview, and it was fun.  It also sounds better than I feared it would... I was worried about how I'd sound in it, especially doing the poetry readings (I've never read anything for an audience like that before; the only other time I did a poetry reading I'd memorized the poems, where as this time I was reading from copies I'd brailled out the day before to read during the recording session).  My readings aren't as smooth as I'd have liked, but I think they sound OK.  Have a listen for yourself, and see what you think... I hope you enjoy listening to it. 

     

Patty Fletcher - who, by the way, is a fellow visually impaired author - has interviewed a whole load of other guests too... I mean, my interview is part of the second series of this podcast.  So consider checking out the other authors' interviews when you're done listening to mine. 

     


    

I also did another author interview, which is currently featured in the "Author Meet And Greet" section of the blog of fellow author, Sue Rovens, along with some of her other recent guests. 

 

    If you'd like to check that out too, you can do so by clicking here (if it's not visible on the page I linked to by the time you go check it out, look in the author index section of the site).

    

     

But that's not all! 

 

    I also did a Halloween appropriate guest post, which fellow author, Hugh Roberts, invited me to do on his blog.  It's all about some real supernatural encounters I've had in the past. 

     

If you want to read it, you can find my guest post here

    


            

"You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer."

~Stephen Leigh


    

OK.  Since there's nothing else to say about my writing, let's see what I have to share with you today, shall we? After all, I have a couple of week's worth of links to share with you.  So, let's get to it.

    

The writing process, and writing life in general:

Thoughts on creativity - Yes, you can! Yes, you are!

Constraints and creativity for writers

How to use your excuses to get more writing done

The do's and don'ts of taking a break from writing

Mistakes I've made while writing my first book

The secret of my success - maybe

Five tips to feel better about writing angst

Escapism - why I write it

     

NaNoWriMo, and other November writing challenges:

November writing challenges

NaNoWriMo Prep: scheduling

Clearing time for NaNoWriMo

    

"I need to write to be happy."

~Nora Roberts

     

Idea generation, and finding inspiration:

Poetry writing ideas and activities

Memoir or fiction?

    

"Every time I sit down to write, I try to feel that I'm starting over. It’s all new. It’s all fresh, and I’m learning as we go."
~Rita Dove
    

     

Characters:

What's in a name? And how do you choose one? 

    

“Every first draft is perfect because all the first draft has to do is exist.”

~Jane Smiley

     

Random writing tips:

Originality in storytelling

The nutshell crisis and triumph

    

"Don’t write it right, just write it—and then make it right later."
~Tara Moss

    
Editing:

How do you make do and don't plural?

How to edit a book and get it right

How to get your dialogue punctuation right 

         

"As far as I'm concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning. It's not writing when you don't want to, and writing late at night if you want to."
~Neil Gaiman

     

Publishing:

How to publish with KDP, Part Seventeen: How to set your prices, royalty options, and distribution range
 
     

Marketing:

Writers, be honest: what really scares you about self-promotion?

Author website essentials

        

"The books a writer reads are so important; they form a compost bed beneath the rosebushes of her own writing."
~Ben Dolnick

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Spooky "Would You Rather" #Book Tag - #Halloween #AmReading

So, I found this while doing an online search for Halloween themed book blog tags, and my sources tell me it originally came from someone called The Book Pusher. Sorry if this is incorrect. Either way, it looked fun, so I decided to do it. If you want to do it too, feel free to, either in the comments section of this post, or on your own blog. If you do the latter, make sure to let me know, and tell me where I can read your answers, since I'd love to know what your answers would be. For now though, here are the questions, and my own answers.

1. Thrillers or Supernatural(s)?

Supernatural. I like the odd thriller, but supernatural events in other types of books are more my thing, to be honest.

2. Ghosts or Zombies?

Either. I love a good zombie apocalypse tale, but I also love a good ghost story.

3. Vampires or Werewolves?

Ah, now this one is harder. I love both, though I suppose I end up reading more vampire stories than werewolf stories.

4. Witches or Demons?

This one's much easier: witches. Demons are often interesting characters, but I like to see the different ways witches are portrayed in stories, so they'll win out over demons every time.

5. Would you rather read a book with 13 chapters or a book with a black cat on the cover?

I'm not bothered by either superstition, but since a book with a black cat on the cover should - in theory - feature a kitty cat, I'm going to have to go with that one, because cats are cool, and I like reading things with animals in them.

6. Would you rather read a spooky book in the dark with only a candle for light or by yourself in a locked brightly lit room?

I don't care about the lighting situation. I mean, being blind, light makes no difference to me. However, even if it did, I'd still pick the candle over the locked room, because I don't want to be locked in.

7. Would you rather face your worst fears or be trapped in the mind of a killer?

Face my worst fears. At least I'd know what to expect with those.

8. Would you rather watch a scary movie or read a scary book?

Read a scary book. Books have had better luck scaring me in the past, even when I still had sight. I think it's because it's much scarier when I imagine things than when it's right there in front of me. Plus, I tend to become more absorbed in books than movies, so that probably contributes to it.

9. Would you rather read spooky books during the fall time or all year?

I love doing both, but tend to do it more in the Fall, because I like reading scary things close to Halloween.

10. Would you rather read 10 spooky books in October or 10 spooky books all year?

That depends. If I could read them whenever I wanted over the year, and wasn't limited to only reading that number if I wanted to read more, I'd say all year. If I couldn't read more in the timeframe given, but was free to read as much as I wanted of whatever I wanted after the timeframe, I'd pick October.

Monday, October 26, 2020

#MondayMotivation - #Quotes + Words Of #Wisdom 26-10-20

Caring about everyone doesn’t require everyone to care back. Just keep doing you and spread love unconditionally.
~Koi Fresco

There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.
~French proverb

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.
~Carol Burnett

My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there.
~Rumi

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
~Mark Twain

If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.
~Les Brown

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
~Vince Lombardi

Hope is an emotion we need to make the best of life, and it is accompanied by great happiness. If hopes begin to fail us we are in danger of losing all feelings of hopefulness. Hope turns to despair. There must remain always something to hope for.
~C.R. Milne

A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping stone to the optimist.
~Eleanor Roosevelt

To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.
~Chinese Proverb

Even though you are on the right track – you will get run over if you just sit there.
~Will Rogers

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
~Pablo Picasso

Friday, October 23, 2020

#Holidays + #Baking + Cute #Tortoise Behaviour + Other Random Stuff

I had another attempt at making vegan cinnamon rolls a few weeks ago.  Well, more than a few, I suppose, since it was this time last month I made them.  But I had other things I wanted to post about first, hence it taking me a month to post about it.

     

I made them around the Autumn Equinox, since we weren't really doing anything special for it what with trying to avoid people who don't live in our building as much as possible, trying not to spend more than we absolutely have to so as to save to move, and the fact the weather that day was terrible.  Though I was a day late making them for the equinox, because the equinox fell on September 22nd, and it was the 23rd I made the cinnamon rolls.  I'm even later posting about it, since that was a month ago, as I already mentioned.  But never mind.

     

Either way, they worked a lot better this time.  I did better with how much cinnamon I used, and I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that actually having yeast made a lot of difference too (last time I made them I hadn't been able to get hold of any, but figured I'd carry on anyhow, since I only remembered this fact part way through making the dough).  Here are a couple of photos Kelly took of them for me to share:


    

So, how were they?

    

Well, put it this way, Kelly had eaten two before they were fully cooled, and half the rest were gone by morning.  I'm torn between being glad I only made a small batch for the sake of our waistlines, and wishing I made more so they hadn't been gone so quickly.  In other words, I'd say this batch was very successful, and Kelly seems to agree. 😉

    

*~* 

    

In other cooking elated news: I made pizza. 


    More to the point, I made vegan pizza completely from scratch, making the base and sauce myself, and topping with some grated vegan cheese.  I'd have added some veggies too, but making pizza was a last minut change to dinner plans, so I just did the cheese and left it at that.  If you're interested, the cheese is a combination of two types of VioLife vegan cheese: the original cheese, and the feta style.  They're my favourite vegan cheeses.

 

Here's my pizza before it was cooked:

    

And here it is after cooking:

     

    

It tasted great, if I do say so myself. 

     

I do wish I'd bothered to add some veggies though.  Also, using the feta style cheese for some of the cheese may not have been a great idea, because that one melts so quickly it made quite a mess. So next time I think I'll stick to the original version of the cheese for pizzas. 

     

Or, I should say, "next time I stuck with the original version of the cheese," since I made more homemade pizza this past weekend, this time only using the original version of the cheese, and adding extra toppings (mushrooms, onions, sweetcorn, and pineapple).  It was very tasty, if I do say so myself! 

    

    *~*

    

Though our weather's not been too bad, we've had some mild storms (just a load of rain and wind, but nothing really bad) and our weather's been a lot cooler over the past few weeks even on sunny days. 

     

Cooler temperatures make Artemis not be quite so active.  So much so that she's been demonstrating how to eat your food when you're a tortoise who wants to use the minimum amount of effort possible.  Here's a photo of her trying to rest and eat some lettuce at the same time:

 

She's usually much more enthusiastic, especially where food is concerned.  Even has this cute thing she does where she follows the leaf with her head if you wave it in front of her before grabbing a bit and starting to chomp away.  Here's a video Kelly got of it to show you:

 


     

Who would have thought a tortoise could be so cute and full of character?

    

*~*

    

The Jason Donovan concert I've been looking forward to since about this time last year isn't happening on December 1st.

    

They've tentatively rescheduled it for next September, but whether or not it goes ahead is conditional on all virus related things being completely over, so they also offered the option of having your tickets refunded. 

     

After some consideration, I took the latter option and got the refund.

    

I'm sad to be missing out on the concert, but there's no guarantee it will happen next year, and right now I could use the money.  Plus, with how expensive it's getting to live in this area, we're thinking it would be best to relocate to somewhere we'd have more luck finding an affordable suitable home, which means it would potentially be difficult for me to get to it if it does happen.  So I figured it was best to take the refund. 

 

It felt like the right choice, even though I'm really disappointed about not getting to see Jason Donovan after all, and it feels like yet another thing to add to the list of things to hate about 2020.  That list is getting quite long for us all, I think.

    

*~*

   

In other news: they're still doing work in the hallway. 

     

For those who don't know, "They," means the landlord's repair guys.  Well, mostly guy, since it's mostly just the one guy doing the work.  But sometimes there's more than one guy out there.  Though usually only if it's a two-man job being done.  Maybe if more than one guy was doing it the work would be done by now? Then again, since the landlord keeps showing up with more stupid ideas of things he wants done to the building, maybe not. *sigh* 

    

~

 

    Anyway, we gave them no choice but to let me take Logan to the vet for his neuter, but - since we weren't sure if Logan would need carrying anyhow - Kelly went to fetch him.  I took Logan for his follow-up appointment myself too though.  I always try to be the one to take the petkids for their appointments... Only Lilie has ever been without me.  I wasn't going to change that just because the landlord doesn't seem to care if I can get in or out of the building safely or not. 

     

Kelly had to leave Lilie upstairs by herself while he  helped me make my way through the hallway with Logan.  Lilie wasn't happy, and it still wasn't easy. 

 

     

    But mostly I'm trying to stay out of the way, and hoping the work will be finished sooner rather than later. 

     

Though I'm not holding my breath on that, since the lack of logic as to which order things are being done means sometimes work is having to be undone and redone so another job can be done.  Like this past weekend when they had to make a mess of the hallway ceiling and walls again to get access to the wiring to - I hope - fix the buzzer properly.  So what should have been them popping in for a few minutes to replace the buzzer turned in to them spending the whole day trying to get at the wires, replacing them, etc, setting the fire alarm off in the process. 

    

It was a good thing I'd already planned on spending my Sunday just hanging out watching DVDs in the livingroom with the dogs and Mollie, because that's how I ended up spending the day anyhow, since it was the easiest way to keep the dogs out of the way (they had to keep coming in to our place to access the part of the buzzer system that's inside our flat). 

    

We won't talk about how I feel about us only having about 20 minutes notice that this was happening. 


    At least the buzzer works again - for now.

 

*~* 

     

On the bright side, at least my card to say I'm exempt from mask-wearing and social distancing rules because of disabilities arrived before I needed to take Logan in for his appointments, so I didn't have to go through the constant explanations as to why I wasn't wearing a mask and needed to come within touching distance of the vet this time, which I had needed to do when I took Artemis to the vet back in August. 

    

*~* 


    Speaking of Logan's neuter: he's now back to his old self. 

     

He's a good boy.  We took the cone off him a week after his surgery, like the vet said we could, and he wasn't being excessive with licking, so we didn't have to put it back on him at all. 

     

This totally confused him for a while, and he actually tried to put his head back in it.  It took him a moment to realize he really was allowed to have the cone off, and even longer to realize he no longer had to make allowances for it when moving around.  On the bright side, his confusion over being cone-free meant it was a couple of days later before he started playing properly with Lilie, and those extra days of not being back to full play mode were probably good for his recovery.

  

*~* 

    

In other other news... Our washing machine died. 

    

In its defence, it was one we brought refurbished about eight and a half years ago. 


    I knew it wasn't doing so great, but was hoping it would last until we moved.  It didn't, and we had no choice but to replace it.  Well, I suppose technically we did have a choice, but since the amount a new one cost would have been the same as we'd spend in the next few months doing our laundry at the laundrette, it worked out cheaper in the longrun to just buy a new washing machine now.  And don't get me started on how much repairing it was going to cost.  Basically, the cheapest and most reliable option was to buy a new one.  So, we have a new washing machine. 

     

Could have done without that right now, but it is what it is. 

     

*~* 

     

We had moved a load of our stuff down here from the upstairs flat without actually packing it, and unpacked a load of what we had packed.  So now we're working on repacking the stuff we unpacked, and packing up the stuff we moved without packing it. 

     

Since moving is tentatively planned for January (I'd like it to be sooner, but we need that time to get the money together, especially since things like the washing machine decided they weren't going to wait) the goal is to have everything but what absolutely can not be packed until the last possible moment - so, everything we don't use on a daily basis, and don't need to continue using on a daily basis - packed by the time the Winter Solstice and Christmas roll around.  That way we don't have to rush to pack anything but those last few items, which won't take us long to get packed. 

  

*~* 

    

Speaking of Christmas, I keep seeing posts about how Halloween and Christmas are cancelled, so just want to say this before I end this post: 

    

They aren't cancelled. 

    

They might look different this year.  Some - or all - of the things you used to do might have to be cancelled or done differently.  But the holidays will still happen. If they've cancelled something you wanted to go to, or your traditional plans can't happen because sticking with them would mean you're breaking rules you don't want to be breaking, but you still want to celebrate, all you have to do is celebrate differently. 

    

The holidays aren't cancelled.  They can't be.  They will happen no matter what.  It will still be Halloween on October 31st, for example, whether you celebrate it or not.  The pandemic can't change that.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

#AmReading + #AmWatching + #AmListening - Media Shares And #Reviews 22-10-20

Books permit us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors.
~Carl Sagan

    

*~*

    
Welcome to this week's weekly media shares and reviews post!
    

    
*Disclaimer: no matter what's being reviewed, all opinions in this post are entirely my own, and I reserve the right to have them, regardless of who may or may not share them. Feel free to express your own in the comments, but please respect my right - and the rights of other commenters - to have opinions that might differ from yours, and to express those opinions too.
    
Also, please remember that I read/watch/listen to things in a variety of genres, and for all ages, so you should make sure you check that the book/movie/show/song is suitable for the intended audience before reading/watching/listening to it, especially if children are involved. I take no responsibility for anything which may happen as a result of failing to do so.
    

    

OK. Let's see what I've been reading, watching, and listening to, and which song I'm going to share this week, shall we? After all, that's the point of this post, and why you're here today, right?
    

*~* 

    

  • Reading:

This week I read three books, and started another I didn't have time to finish yet, all by the same author. So, here's what I read, along with my book reviews for the ones I finished.
    

Cop (Star Minds Lone Wolves)
by Barbara G. Tarn
My rating: five out of five stars

This was an excellent addition to the series. I especially love that this time there was a satisfying ending without the need for romance to make it happen. I mean, there's nothing wrong with romance being the reason for a happy ending, but it's a refreshing change that it wasn't deemed necessary this time around. After all, not everyone needs that. 

     


    

Assassin (Star Minds Lone Wolves)
by Barbara G. Tarn
My rating: five out of five stars

This is an excellent addition to the series, with a fast-paced plot. It has a fantastic main character, and a load of other great characters too. 

    

    

Spacer (Star Minds Lone Wolves)
by Barbara G. Tarn
My rating: five out of five stars

This is yet another excellent addition to the series. I've been loving getting to know all these fantastic characters, and learning how they became part
of the team, and Fabio is no exception. The bonus story was a great read too... I love that we get those with many of the books set in the Star Minds universe.
    
*~* 

    

  • Watching:

Between evening Netflix time, another DVD weekend, and having DVDs on while packing boxes and shredding paperwork I've been meaning to shred (it makes both tasks more fun to have something to watch or listen to while I do them) this week I watched a lot again.  In fact, I watched even more this week, and with more packing and paper shredding to do might be doing the same thing in the coming week. 

    

~

    

I watched more "Friends" episodes, though since I've only been watching an episode or two a night before switching to reading, I haven't quite finished season 7 yet (unless I manage to between finalizing this post on Wednesday afternoon, and it going live on Thursday morning).

     

    ~

    

I also watched a dozen more DVDs from my pile of DVDs on my coffee table that I've seen but haven't watched my actual copies of.  Well, one of them I'm sure shouldn't have been in the pile any more, since I'm sure I'd seen my copy of it, but never mind.  Either way, for those who might be interested, here's what I watched (in watching order):

    

  1. Madeline
  2. Matilda
  3. A SimpleWish
  4. X-Men
  5. How The West Was Fun
  6. The Aristocats (animated version)
  7. Marley And Me
  8. Big Red
  9. The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe
  10. Space Buddies
  11. Minions (this is the one I'm sure shouldn't have been in the pile)
  12. Spy Kids
     

    

*~*
    

  • Listening:

This week I've been listening to a mixture of country and 80s music again.  But I'm continuing my Halloween themed music thing again this week, so, since I couldn't resist making it one of my Halloween music shares, here's the theme tune for "Casper The Friendly Ghost" for you - enjoy!
    


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Nine More #Writing Related #Quotes

 

“A day in which I don't write leaves a taste of ashes.”

~Simone de Beauvoir

 

*~*~*

 

“You could tie my hands to my sides, I suppose, but I have to write. For my own mental health, I need to write.”

~J. K. Rowling

 

*~*~*

 

“Write your story as it needs to be written. Tell it as best you can.”
~Chris Gill

 

*~*~*

 

“Any form of human creativity is a process of doing it and getting better at it. You become a writer by writing. There is no other way.”

~Margaret Atwood

 

*~*~*

 

“Literature is a process of producing beautiful lies that tell more truth than any facts.”
~Julian Barnes

 

*~*~*

 

“Look, writing books isn’t that hard. All you have to do is build an armored giant out of all your fears and then fight it to the death and melt the metal down to forge a pair of doors locked by doubt and go on a quest to find the key and then sit your ass in the chair and write.”
~Victoria Schwab

 

*~*~*

 

"Words are a puzzle; put them together the right way and you get something beautiful."
~Amy Joy
 

*~*~*

 

“Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it.”
~Ernest Hemingway

 

*~*~*

 

“If you really want to know yourself, start by writing a book.”

~Shereen El Feki

 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Literary Dinner Party #Book Tag

I found this one on this post on the Dreamland Book Blog when searching for some fun tags to do earlier this year - just so you know where I got it.
 
As usual, I'm not tagging anyone, so if you want to do it, just feel free to play along.  You can either post your answers in the comments section, or post them on your own blog, or whatever.  If you don't post them in the comments, make sure to let me know where you're posting them though, because I'd hate to miss reading them.
 
Anyway, in this tag, you’re hosting  a dinner party. You can invite any character you want, but there are 10 different categories you need to fill, and there is only room for 12 people - including you.  No social distancing or masks required for this particular party, and nobody will complain that there are more than six people attending either.  So, here are the catagories, along with who I'd invite from each of them:
 
1. One character who can cook/likes to cook
 
Rachel Morgan from Kim Harrison's "Hollows" series.  She knows her way around the kitchen - she has to to do her spellwork - and loves spending time in her kitchen, whether spelling or baking.  She's also good about being careful to keep spellwork and cooking seporated, so I won't need to constantly worry that there's potion in the pizza.
 
2. One character who has money to fund the party
 
Aeson Kassiope from Vera Nazarian's "Atlantis Grail" series.  He's royalty and a star ship commander, with plenty of money.  Plus, it gives me an excuse to invite him.
 
3. One character who might cause a scene
 
Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" books.  Because something eventful always happens at parties Harry ends up invited to.  That's not always a good thing, but I could guarantee it wouldn't be a dull party with Harry on the guest list.  The survivors will likely be talking about it for some time.
 
4. One character who is funny/amusing
 
Adrian Mole from Sue Townsend's "Adrian Mole" series.  He's not the brightest of people in many ways, and is kind of naive at times, but he's a lover of literature, so we could talk about a lot of books we've both read.  He can also be entertaining, even if not always on purpose.
 
5. One character who is super social/popular
 
Pippi Longstocking from Astrid Lindgren's "Pippi Longstocking" series.  She's incredibly outgoing, and loads of fun to have around.  There will be fun at the party with Pippi there, that's for sure.
 
6. One villain
 
Artemis Fowl from Eoin Colfer's "Artemis Fowl" series.  Yes, he's a villain, but he's also a very intelligent young man who knows a lot about a lot of things from technology to fairy folk.  Having him on the guest list could make for some interesting discussions.
 
7. One couple – doesn’t have to be romantic
 
Jamie and Claire Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series.  Because I want an excuse to invite Jamie, Claire would be useful to have on hand in case of medical emergencies, and Jamie wouldn't let Claire come without him if he could avoid it anyhow, so that's a good excuse for me to include him in the invitation.
 
8. One hero/heroine
 
Doctor Who, from the series of the same name.  No, I'm not cheating here, because there are several books telling the stories of The Doctor as well as the TV series you likely thought of first, though they're by a variety of authors, which is why I didn't name an author here.  Anyway, Doctor Who is good to have around in a crisis, and there's plenty of room for us to all fit in his tardis if needs be, so there's that.  But also he's seen a lot during his travels through time and space, so I'm sure could contribute a lot to some of the interesting conversations I hope we'll be having at my dinner party.
 
9. One underappreciated character
 
This one's tough to answer, since I'm not really sure which characters are appreciated most. although, house elves aren't appreciated much by most people in the "Harry Potter" books, and I like Dobby, so I'm going to invite him.  I'm sure he'll be thrilled.  I just hope he realizes he's a guest and not there to serve us.
 
10. One character of your own choosing
 
Luna Lovegood from J K Rowling's "Harry Potter" books.  Just because I want her to come.  She seems like someone who would be fun to have around, and I want to be her friend, so I'm inviting her to my party.

Monday, October 19, 2020

#MondayMotivation - #Hygge #Quotes + Words Of #Wisdom 19-10-20

Don't ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can't be exactly who you are.
~Lady Gaga

The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical.
~Julius Erving

I've learned that it's not what I have in my life, but who I have in my life that counts.
~Unknown

You always gain by giving love.
~Reese Witherspoon

There is no beauty without some strangeness
~Edgar Allan Poe

Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.
~David Ogden Stiers

7 Effective Ways to Make Others Feel Important:
1) Use their name
2) Express sincere gratitude
3) Do more listening than talking
4) Talk more about them than about you
5) Be authentically interested
6) Be sincere in your praise
7) Show you care
~Roy T. Bennett

If you want a new tomorrow, then make new choices today.
~Tim Fargo

Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s okay. You’re here to live your life, not to make everyone understand.
~Banksy

If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead.
~Chef Gusteau

The only way to bring peace to the earth is to learn to make our own life peaceful.
~Buddha

Listen to silence. It has much to say.
~Rumi

Friday, October 16, 2020

Mollie The #Chinchilla Celebrates Turning 5 + Reminds You To Keep Your #Pets Safe In The Colder Weather

Hi everyone.  This is Mollie the chinchilla. 

     

I had one of those birthday things on Monday (October 12th).  I'm five years old now. 

     

My birthday presents this year were all nibbles; I got some yummy birthday treats.  I got a whole little carrot all to myself, as well as two whole strawberries, some raisins, and a few pumpkin seeds.  It was quite a feast... I loved it! 

    

Here's a photo from when they gave me the carrot and one of the strawberries...

    

I liked the strawberry best, so took it in to my log house to eat in peace...

    

The rest of the nibbles were in my bowl with my breakfast, and I got that after those were taken, so there aren't photos of me getting the rest of my birthday treats.  But at least you got to see me, which you don't get to much, because I'm not easy to get photos of (I'm not really a fan of the flashy thing). 

    

Anyway, that's how I celebrated turning five: with a special birthday feast.  It was great! 

    

    

I also think it's great that the awful hot weather is gone.  I much prefer colder weather.  Not all animals feel that way though, and even those of us who do love it have our limits.  So, if you share your home with anyone - regardless of species - make sure you keep them safe during the cooler weather.  However that needs to be done for them.  If you're not sure what's best, ask your vet. 

    

~

    

Squeak soon,

Mollie

Thursday, October 15, 2020

#AmReading + #AmWatching + #AmListening - Media Shares And #Reviews 15-10-20

Read a lot. Reading really helps. Read anything you can get your hands on.
~JK Rowling

    

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Welcome to this week's weekly media shares and reviews post!
    

    
*Disclaimer: no matter what's being reviewed, all opinions in this post are entirely my own, and I reserve the right to have them, regardless of who may or may not share them. Feel free to express your own in the comments, but please respect my right - and the rights of other commenters - to have opinions that might differ from yours, and to express those opinions too.
    
Also, please remember that I read/watch/listen to things in a variety of genres, and for all ages, so you should make sure you check that the book/movie/show/song is suitable for the intended audience before reading/watching/listening to it, especially if children are involved. I take no responsibility for anything which may happen as a result of failing to do so.
    

*~*

    
OK. Let's see what I've been reading, watching, and listening to, and which song I'm going to share this week, shall we? After all, that's the point of this post, and why you're here today, right?
    

*~* 

    

  • Reading:

This week I managed to read three books, all of which I was given in exchange for reviews.  So, here's what I read, along with my reviews.

    

Pursuit (Thor's Dragon Rider, #2)
by Katrina Cope

My rating: five out of five stars

You know I absolutely loved a book when even the frustration of a cliffhanger ending isn't enough to stop me giving it five stars. Yeah, it was that good.  Had life allowed for it, I could have easily devoured this book in one sitting. The plot is fun, action-packed, and exciting. The worldbuilding is excellent.  The characters are well-rounded, believable, and showing clear signs of development as the series progresses. It's also well-written. What more could you ask for? Now I need the next book... Thank goodness the author never makes us wait all that long between books, so I won't be left wondering what happens next for too much longer.
*NOTE: I was given a free advanced copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This fact has in no way influenced either my opinion of the book or the contents of this review, and all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
    

    

Alchemy Of Love: 30 Poems And Dreams About Love
by Sophie Foucher
My rating: four out of five stars

This is a lovely collection of poems, which shows the journey of healing the author went through when she wrote them. I really liked it, and they were all well-written and expressive, but none of them really stood out as being amazing to me, hence only giving the book four stars.
*NOTE: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This fact has in no way influenced either my opinion of the book or the contents of this review, and all opinions expressed here are my own. 

    

 ~ 

    

The King's Tower
by Tony Brunal
My rating: three out of five stars

I thought this book had the potential to be something great. Unfortunately, it's not there yet, and feels like it was published before it was really ready.  The plot was interesting, but there were so many editing issues, problems with inconsistent character behaviour, etc, that it was difficult to enjoy it.  With some work, this has the potential to be a five star read, but right now it's only a three star read for me.
*NOTE: I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This fact has in no way influenced my opinion of the book or the contents of this review, and all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

    
*~*
    

  • Watching:

This week I watched a lot again. 

    

     

I watched more "Friends" episodes on Netflix.  I'm now on season 7. 

     

     

I also watched several movies that were among the DVDs in my to-watch pile on my coffee table.  Everything I watched was stuff I'd seen before, but just hadn't watched my DVD copies of, so I don't have any reviews for you.  For those curious though: I watched the "Doctor Dolittle" and "Cinderella" movies.  With both of those I watched movies 1, 2, and 3, so six movies in total.  I know there's at least one other "Doctor Dolittle" movie, and also know there's a live action version of "Cinderella" - I've seen those in the past.  But if I have "Doctor Dolittle 4" in my collection waiting to be watched it's hidden in the pile somewhere, and I know I don't have a copy of the live action "Cinderella" movie.

     

*~* 

    

  • Listening:

This week I haven't really been listening to any music.  But I'm going to continue my Halloween music theme again this week anyhow, so it doesn't matter.  So, here's the theme tune for the TV series "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" for your listening pleasure, because it's the first one I thought of when I was trying to decide on a vampire themed song to post this week.  Enjoy!

    


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

#Quotes About How #Books And #Reading Enrich Your Mind And Life

“It is better to read a little and ponder a lot than to read a lot and ponder a little.”

~Denis Parsons Burkitt

 

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“Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything.”

~Tomie dePaola

  

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“To become smart you need to read just ten books, but to find those ten, you need to read thousands.”

~Unknown

  

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“If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.”

~Roald Dahl

  

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 “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”

~Confucius

  

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“Books are hindrances to persisting stupidity.”

~Spanish Proverb

  

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“Books open your mind, broaden your mind, and strengthen you as nothing else can.”

~William Feather

  

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“Books are the training weights of the mind”

~Seneca

  

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“If we didn’t have libraries, many people thirsty for knowledge would dehydrate.”

~Megan Jo Tetrick, age 12

  

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“A library is a hospital for the mind.”

~Anonymous

  

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“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

~Cicero

 

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“I owe everything I am and everything I will ever be to books.”

~Gary Paulsen

  

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“When you sell a man a book you don’t sell him just 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life.”

~Christopher Morley

  

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“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.”

~Mortimer J. Adler