10 Things to Tell You #1

This is a mini-series hosted by @laura.tremaine over on Instagram & on her blog, https://www.10thingstotellyou.com/about/ I do listen to Laura & Meg’s podcast “Sorta Awesome Show” every now and again (usually in my summer as I potter about outside) & her solo-ish podcast, The Smartest Person in the Room is fascinating. I’m following these prompts on the blog as a) I can schedule and b) I think this is a really cool idea. Play along!

#1 – I GREW UP…my earliest memories are a combination of gardening with Gran at their home in Fantail Grove, Upper Hutt; feeding baby lambs at the farm in Lumsden and playing at the house we moved to in Otumoetai, Tauranga, when I was around 3 ½. I lived in Tauranga until I was nine, when my mother accepted a job offer at Greenlane Hospital in Auckland. I’ve lived in Auckland almost continually since, and all over the city.

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WIP Wednesday #227

Hey everyone! I’m half-way thru my week of solo parenting and am pleased to report no casualties as yet. Not even a ding on the ute – as Si took my car away, I’m driving his brute to & fro, mostly work. I have done a heap of “one little things” around the house and spent a good portion of Sunday working on building a personal album – July-now is completed. There is a small volume of personal writing which is hidden from initial view and that’s just the way I want it. Mase is likely to pick it up from my side table to look at the pictures (I need to wean him from this habit) but he does know not to pull the tabs.

Reading wise, I ended up returning Mythos. It just wasn’t right for me. Instead I’m re-reading (as not much effort is required) the Chesapeake Shores series by Sherryl Woods (try these Elizabeth!) and listening to the 47th (??!!) In Death book, Leverage.

20180911_212120.jpgAnd stitching – some progress on the Peridots during work breaks, a wee bit on Fairy Idyll as I wait for Bran’s physio appointments, and I FOUND THE BOTTOM OF THE DESIGN in Persephone. That’s a huge finish motivator – altho I note that there’s about 3 days stitching the hem, plus 3-4 days on the confetti heavy flower trail that’s on the left plus another 3 days on the beading, but I will finish this month even if I get distracted by something else.

(Audio)Book Review – Circe by Madeline M Miller

circeBLURB: In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.

 

MY THOUGHTS: After listening to only a portion of this title, it was easy to see why it was a recommendation on multiple book lists (NYT, Publisher’s Weekly, Boston Globe etc). It’s lyrical, engrossing, and suspenseful (even tho I’ve read the Iliad and roughly remember what happened). For me, the most interesting portions of the book were after the fall of Troy, when Circe’s isolation is removed by various turns and I wasn’t ready for the story to end.

I’ll be buying The Song of Achilles once I’m over this book coma as frankly, Stephen Fry’s Mythos isn’t doing much for me so far.

AUTHOR SITE: http://madelinemiller.com/circe/

WIP Wednesday #226

Hey everyone! If you’re on my IG, you’ll know why I’m late posting. And if you’re not – well. My week has been pretty hard. I was grumpy as (actually, read that as GRUMPY – bold, in italics, 72pt etc), Then I woke Tuesday with a migraine. Ugh. Then Mase came home from school very, very hot and short of breath – turns out he has a chest infection so is at home, on antibiotics. Poor kid. My verse of the week is quite accurate. Thanks for the heads up, Lord.

But before that we had a good weekend. Father’s Day for us – the card is from Lou, who made Dad one of his fav dinners/desserts as her gift; Zac & Mase “brought” Si a Lego Technics yacht and Mase so sweetly kept his major present a secret all week – he asked me to take them to the Bridgeway cinema at Northcote to see the Spitfire movie. I am so proud of his thoughtfulness & if you’re into military or aviation history, this documentary has a five star review from Mase. We also found a small, almost private beach below the cinema & plan to explore by kayak in the summer.

As for me, I finished the round robin! Apart from a gift or treasure on the Queen’s outstretched hands, I’m done. Yippee! So happy with the way this turned out, frames and all. I think I need to pull out the one I’m not happy with from 2015/16 and add frames to that, and see if it makes a difference. I suspect it will.

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Book Review – The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

bonelessmercies.jpgBLURB: Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life.
When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies’ one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere.
Full of fierce girls, bloodlust, tenuous alliances, and unapologetic quests for glory, this elegantly spun tale challenges the power of storytelling—and who gets to be the storyteller.

MY THOUGHTS: There is a lot to like about this book for a mythology geek like myself. While it’s a little slow to start, the world the Mercies live in is well painted and the characters have both good and bad traits. Their actions as Mercies hit quite close to euthanasia, which made me uncomfortable; but that gave me a glimpse into why Frey was so weary inside and out of her role in society.

The book relies on retelling of (mostly) Norse mythology (thank you Mr Gaiman for your excellent work), with Celtic, Roman and even a bit of Judaism thrown in. Interactions between the characters are thoughtful and in line with YA age group, and what I did like is that sex isn’t a driver for the story.

In summary – it’s clever, descriptive, action-filled, thoughtful and I’ll definitely read again.

I received an ARC from Simon & Schuster (Australia) in return for an honest review.

WIP Wednesday #225 & August WIPocalypse

Hello lovely people! I am in a much better head space this week – had awkward convo with family member & hard convo with the boss out of the way, and on Sunday we (Si & I) completed the Loaded Tough Guy mud run. Exceptionally slow time, but we’d made a decision to stick together so that meant we were governed by my fitness – then on the first downward slide, T injured his back. This was maybe a quarter of the way in? So after that, it was Si, myself, T, Alvin, Mel & Ondrake working together. We picked up Kim (Mel & Kim earworm for you other 80’s survivors hehehe) who had been left behind by her team and while we were the last group to finish, we finished. My shoes are a write-off and my body isn’t that far behind. However – massive achievement, given the course conditions and the mental fortitude needed. My Samsung watch says I climbed 49 flights & did 9.6 km that day. And that won’t count the sliding downhill – I did a lot of that both on my arse and my feet! I recommend Magnesium supplement – it’s made a huge difference.

Stitching has been excellent. I have beaded Deepest Love & Renaissance Mermaids, and have started Waiting for Ships. My work project is two copies of Mill Hill’s Peridot ornament (long time readers will remember I did a lot of these a couple of years ago for family members who don’t appreciate, so now it’s one set for me & one for a gift to a stitchy friend).

As I missed the July WIPocalypse, here’s my answers to both questions (click on the icon on the side to take you to Measi’s site, where the main event is hosted. If you’re a stitcher, please join our motley crew).

JULY – Half Year recap – how are my goals for the year?

Huh. Looking at my points from January this year, not great at all …

So my focus pieces for 2018 (given that I want to end in the black for Stitch From Stash also) are in order of attention (bracket date indicates the start month & year):

  • Mirabilia Ashley’s Roses RR section (Dec 2018) FINISHED
  • Semco Toy Story Sampler (October 2013) – Zac will be 15 soon, & this needs to be done before then! But first I have to hunt it down… I KNOW WHERE IT IS, I JUST DON’T WANT TO DO IT
  • Mirabilia Fairy Idyll (September 2017) – Gail has loaned me the chart, & I want to return it this year MADE STEADY PROGRESS, ABOUT A THIRD THRU AND AM LOOKING FOR MY OWN COPY SO I CAN RETURN GAIL’S
  • TW Tapestry Cat (Dec 2006!) – because it deserves progress NOT EVEN TOUCHED
  • Mirabilia Persephone (May 2015) –because I want to get thru that skirt! MADE A LOT OF PROGRESS, DOWN TO THE LAST QUARTER!!!
  • Jane Austen SAL (December 2017) –because I want to keep up with the readings GAVE UP, I’LL STITCH MY AMENDED BOOKSHELF NEXT YEAR

Too many other things caught my eye! I’m still very pleased with what I have done this year. Not much chance of finishing in the black for this half (altho I did for the first half & should for the whole year) – those Mira 25th Anniversary purchases threw that plan out!

AUGUST – Which is more satisfying to you and why – the process of stitching a piece, or the finish? It’s both by turn – I enjoy the quiet of stitching, the achievement of the finish.

STITCH FROM STASH – thanks in part to some sales, I’m not in as bad a position as I thought. If the person who wants Biancabella does pay, and if I finish Persephone I will end in the black for both the half and (importantly to me) the year. At the least, I resisted spending more this month than just the DMC skeins I ran out of!

Aug-18
  $25.00
Spotlight 7 DMC -11.83
 
Portrait of Antique Vines 11.04
SOLD NC Snapdragon (Maureen) 15.00
   
Rollover -$223.95
Total Available Budget -$184.74

Book Review – The Callaghan & McFadden Series

I re-discovered an author last week. Turns out I’d read the prequel, A Handful of Flowers, a few years ago but for some reason I never moved into the series. I can tell you I’ve certainly fixed that error now!

candm

Blurb Book 1: This Christian romance novel of 80,000 words is the second book in The Callaghans & McFaddens series from author Kimberly Rae Jordan. A HANDFUL OF FLOWERS (ASIN: B01APAIXM6) is the prequel to this series.

Makayla McFadden has been part of her family’s business since it started. At sixteen, she’d helped her dad by answering phones and doing the filing when she wasn’t in school, and now she’s the office manager for C&M Builders. As the company has grown, they’ve had to hire new people, but the core of the company has always stayed the same. When her father announces his plan to retire, Makayla knows change is coming. Hiring from outside the family will disrupt the way they’ve run their business, and she’s not happy about it.

Upon learning that his father and step-mother plan to move to a new city with his younger sister, Ethan Collins knows he needs to move there as well. The day he gets a call from his first choice for a job, he figures God has answered his prayers. But then he meets Makayla McFadden and realizes that she doesn’t want him there. After they offer him a job on a three month probationary basis, Ethan knows he not only has to convince them he can do the job, he has to somehow convince Makayla that he is a good fit for her family’s company.

When he finds himself falling for Makayla, Ethan tries to fight it since he refuses to do anything that might jeopardize his job and his sister’s future. But when the heart can’t be denied, will Ethan take the risk for love? Or will Makayla be reluctant to embrace change on a personal level and leave him without love or a job?

My thoughts: There’s little risk in trying these books – they are available on Kindle Unlimited (and from memory, book one was free on a lot of platforms). I enjoyed getting to know the characters in depth, from children to adults, and the way the books overlap opens up a realism that often isn’t in a saga. If you like interconnecting books, I can recommend you give this series a try.

Books in The Callaghans & McFaddens series by Kimberly Rae Jordan:

  • A Handful of Flowers
  • A Change of Heart
  • For the Love of Grace
  • The Love of Her Life
  • Believing in Tomorrow
  • Crossing Center Ice
  • A Touch of Romance
  • A Little Ray of Sunshine

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