Where Does The Weekend Go?!

If there’s one complaint I have about most weekends, it’s that they’re too short. Seriously, I have so much to blog about, but no time to do it. It’s not like I was sitting around wasting time online this weekend (that’s definitely something I have been known to do…). I was out and about, running errands, walking around in the freezing cold (for exercise, not the errands), and listening to my audiobook. And now it’s Sunday night and I feel like I didn’t get anything done! Well, I did make a ton of progress on my photos organization project today, so that’s a good thing. But I didn’t blog or write fiction or even read very much.

When are three-day weekends going to become a thing?! I, for one, eagerly await such a development.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! Shortly after I wrote my prior post,* I went to the Balmy Tropics. It… wasn’t the best trip to the Balmy Tropics. The weather was great but the certain events continue. At least my mom and I went shopping and out to eat multiple times when I was there.

I wanted to start the year off right, so I wrote over a thousand words today. I still need to post my 2017 writing report—it probably will be lackluster, but I’m just trying to push forward and keep working on my writing. I’m planning to finish the draft I’ve been working on and I have a couple of short stories to edit.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a good New Year’s Day. It’s back to work tomorrow, which I’m not looking forward to because I haven’t gone to work in over a week! It’s going to be a rude awakening tomorrow…

*In my prior post, I mentioned a book I’m excited for later this year. In fact, I’m so excited that I put a countdown in the sidebar of this blog! It’ll be in the sidebar or at the bottom of the page, depending on what device you’re using to read this blog. If you’re reading via RSS or email, I think you have to click through to the blog.

‘Thrawn: Alliances” Has An Official Cover

As I mentioned in this post, I read some Star Wars books earlier this year. I specifically mentioned Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy, but I actually got started with Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn, which came out earlier this year. I picked it up on a whim and ended up loving it. The quality of the writing is better than the aforementioned Thrawn Trilogy. The trilogy came out in the early 1990s, so I think Zahn improved as a writer in the intervening twenty-something years. Seriously, Thrawn is fantastic. I liked it so much I read it twice in a couple of months, which is something I rarely do. (I do reread, but usually not in such a short period of time.)

That’s why I was thrilled—I was literally jumping up and down—when I found out there’s going to be a sequel to Thrawn. At first it was just the unnamed sequel, then I found out it had a name: Thrawn: Alliances. Then, in late November, the cover art was officially revealed.

I missed the official reveal back in November. It was right before Thanksgiving, when my mom came to visit me. (I think the official reveal may have been on the actual day she arrived. I didn’t go online much that day or for days afterward.) Anyway, I saw the official cover this past weekend and it is amazing. I just had to share it with all of you. If you’ve seen it already, you can marvel at it again. And if you haven’t seen it, get excited because it’s really, really good.

Ready for the awesomeness? Here it is.

I found it on Star Wars Wiki here.

I love it. I think the cover artist did a really fantastic job. And I am really, really, really looking forward to reading it. If the first book is any indication, it’s going to be amazing. Unfortunately, we have to wait until June 2018 to read it. It comes out on June 26, 2018. (Can you tell I’m counting down the days?!) If only I could get my hands on an ARC… if the publicist for it is reading this post, please send me an ARC so I can read it as soon as possible!

What news books are you excited about next year?

Why I Canceled My Free Hulu Trial

The last time my mom visited me, I signed up for a free trial with Hulu. I wanted to watch the BBC adaptation of War and Peace, which came out in early 2016 when I was at the tail end of the job search that brought me to my current job. Needless to say, I was a bit preoccupied back then, so I missed all the news of this adaptation. I created an account on Hulu, provided my credit card, and had a free month to watch whatever I wanted—with no commercials.

Two weeks into my free trial, I canceled it.

Russians? I think not!

Why did I cancel it, you ask? First off all, I didn’t like the War and Peace adaptation. Before I started watching it, I never considered that I wouldn’t like it—it’s a costume drama based on great Russian literature, so what could I not like?!—but I didn’t. My mom watched it with me and when we finished the first episode, we both agreed that it just wasn’t that good. We couldn’t picture the actors actually being these Russian characters. The acting, at least to me, seemed very flat.

Since we were so unmoved by War and Peace, we tried 12 Monkeys, which, as you may have guessed, left us equally unmoved. We watched the recent Star Trek movie (Star Trek Beyond) and enjoyed it, but that was the only movie we found that we wanted to watch. There were some other decent movies on Hulu, but I’d seen them all already. The remaining movies were just plain bad.

So there you have it. There was no point to keeping my Hulu trial—I didn’t want to forget to cancel and then owe $11.99 for something I didn’t like anyway. I’m still baffled at how many people watch TV. I know a lot of people with Hulu and I thought I was missing something, but apparently not. For now, I’ll stick to my Russian news clips and shows—and books when I don’t feel like watching something because in general, reading beats watching TV any time.

The Great Digital Photos Organization Project

I wrote a lot early last week, then paused in my writing (yet again). This time, though, I wasn’t reading or feeling sad and unable to write. I was doing something else: I decided to embark on a project to organize my digital photos once and for all.

I have a lot of pictures. A lot. My mom bought me a digital camera in 2006 and I used it for years. (I still have it, actually.) Then, the iPhone came out and I took pictures with my phone, too.

All this to say that I’ve accumulated a rather large photo collection over the years. I used to do a good job of going through and deleting bad pictures and renaming the ones I kept so that I could actually find what I’d taken pictures of. (It’s pretty hard to tell which pictures are of your family and friends and which are of your cat when they’re all named “IMG_1001” and such.)

Somewhere along the line, I’d sort of given up organizing my photos. I kept taking pictures, though, and my collection ballooned. One reason why I don’t post a ton of pictures, either on this blog or on my social media, is I can never find anything I want! Sometimes I’ll know I have a good picture of a flower that I’d like to use, but good luck finding it. I have almost ten years’ (!) worth of photos on my computer. I haven’t checked to see how many photos in total I have, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s ten thousand, minimum.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to organize this mass of digital imagery once and for all. After much thought and research, I’ve decided to use the Mac Photos application with a referenced library. (A managed library is the default.) That way, I can preserve my file structure, but will still be able to browse my photos in chronological order. Best of all, the Photo application will scan my photos for faces (it found my cat’s face in addition to human faces!) and will index everything so I can search for a topic (like “cactus” or “snow”).

I made a lot of progress on my photo organization project last week. It’s going to take a while to go through and delete what I don’t want and move everything I do want to keep into the right place. But I’m hoping to have a completely organized catalog of photos by early next year, which will be amazing.

Yarn Bomb!

This weekend, I decided to organize my yarn collection, once and for all. I don’t have a ton of yarn… but I don’t exactly have a paltry amount, either.

This was the result when I had all of my yarn out in my living room.

Click to see larger.

Now, I know this isn’t a yarn bomb per se, but it does look like part of a yarn shop exploded there.

So yes, I did organize my yarn. I allocated some of it to patterns I want to make. (I have a bad habit of buying random yarn I like without a specific pattern in mind, which leads to the yarn just sitting around and accumulating without being made into something.)

I also made something last night. Yes, this cowl can be made in an entire evening, it goes so quickly. It’s crocheted, which helps. I crochet a lot faster than I knit!

It reminds me of the desert!

We had off from work on Friday due to snow. The snow was so beautiful that I went outside to admire it. We had a good 3-4 inches, from what I’ve heard. Of course, it’s almost all melted now, but it was gorgeous on Friday.

Massive Four-Month Writing Report

I’m back, dear readers! Don’t worry, my silence this time wasn’t as long as last time… I was just busy celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with my mom. We ate a ton of food and did a ton of shopping. I ended up with some new yarn—which I definitely do not need, considering how much yarn I have lying around at home, but it’s such beautiful yarn that it’s okay—and I went back to work last week. (I will post some pictures of the yarn, but not tonight because it’s getting late!)

I also am trying to get back into my writing. I’m tired of feeling too demoralized and sad to write. I will write! I will finish the book I’m working on. I hate leaving projects unfinished. There’s always hope that a finished project, even if it’s a bit raw and ragged around the edges, can be edited and polished into something a bit more beautiful. As it stands right now, my current work in progress is about halfway complete. I need it to be fully complete to edit it.

Anyway, I realized that I haven’t done a monthly writing report since July. That’s appalling! I don’t want to write four separate posts for August, September, October, and November, especially since those months weren’t so great for writing, so I thought I’d combine them in this post.

  • August: 17,400 words, daily average 561 words
  • September: 12,116 words, daily average 403 words
  • October: 11,086 words, daily average 357 words
  • November: 5,119 words, daily average 170 words

Now, this wouldn’t be a bad thing if I’d been outlining on paper, as I often do, but the sad truth is that by November, I was barely writing anything. In August, I did pretty well. In September, I wrote one short story. In October, I went back to my current work in progress briefly. And in November, I did a little bit of outlining for another project (because I was convinced I’d have to abandon my current project) and wrote a short story (my first in the horror genre!), but that was it.

The good news is that so far this month, I’ve written more than half of what I did last month, which is good. I don’t really have a word count goal for this month beyond reversing the dismal trend above. Basically, I just want to write more words this month than last. And I am going to finish my current work in progress so that it can someday be edited. Now, if only I could get better at editing… fellow writers out there who have the whole editing thing down, how did you do it?! Inquiring minds want to know, as I’m so much more comfortably brainstorming and outlining and writing than I am editing.