Month: February 2018

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway Buy on Amazon In Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire wants you to imagine. Imagine that Alice in Wonderland wasn’t a children’s story, but actually happened. Imagine that the Egyptian Halls of the Dead weren’t a myth, but an actual place. Imagine Narnia was real. Imagine you’re a young person out of place and time. You feel foreign to the world you were born into, and wish you could leave. And then one day, you find a doorway. You step through that doorway and you find a place. It might be a good place or a bad place, a logical place or a fanciful one. But the one thing you know is it feels like home. You spend time in that place, your new home. Days, months, years even. And then for some reason or other, you cross through that doorway again, by choice or more likely not, and you find yourself back in your original world, and all you know is that somehow, you’ll find a way to the world you belong in. If so, you might end up at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. Eleanor is on your side, though; she’s a door walker, too. And she’s created a haven for people like her who don’t fit in this world, to help them come to terms with the reality that they are...

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I found the floor

A really quick update on the room of death. I’ve removed the final boxes from it and emptied the bookshelves. I found a copy of Pagemaker 5.6, Adobe Creative Suite version 1, and business cards I had made up 20ish years ago. I look at those and I’m embarrassed. Still to do: get the bookcase outside until I can dispose of it. I have one drawer of a file cabinet to box up, and then the two files of Laurie’s hockey material have to be boxed up and stored and all of that moved into the garage somewhere for now (because it’ll be the last to be placed back into it’s new home, since it’s new home is currently full of boxes). This week I hope to finish emptying the room and get a vacuum in there, get the quote from the electrician, and start talking to the painters. And it’s probably time to go order the carpet, but I’m waiting until it’s really empty before scheduling that or the paint, just in case it takes longer than hoped. And then I can start ordering furniture and building it out… And, um, start to go through those boxes… For those counting, the pile of boxes needing sorting is now somewhere between 80 and 85. I found my needlepoint projects, at least, and I’ll sort through that soon and maybe...

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Mom’s Christmas Cards

Over the holidays I spoke of a few secret projects, and now I get to tell you about one of them. When my mom retired, she took up painting and enjoyed it immensely. Being who she was, she decided to start hand painting the family Christmas cards every year, and to her, that means painting every card individually, so imagine what it might take to do 50-60 cards every year and do it for 15+ years, since she started this in the mid-1980’s and continued it every year until almost 2000, when her arthritis and growing vision problems robbed...

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Leading my first birding group: Merced National Wildlife Refuge

So on Saturday I led my first birding group, leading 11 on a exploration of Merced National Wildlife Refuge. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a few years, but this is the first year my schedule has cooperated. I did this trip through the Santa Clara Valley Audubon group that I do volunteer work for. Since this was my first group outing, I wanted very much to make it a success for those coming to visit, so I did a lot of preparation. That included two scouting trips, one three weeks ago and one a week ago,...

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Checking in…

I’ve found there’s one true fact about writing: once you get out of the habit of writing, it’s a lot easier to continue not writing than it is to get the writing back on a schedule. “Oh, it can wait one more day” is a terrible excuse, but it works. I’ve been trying to figure out how much time I know I can spend on writing every week, and what that means for the blog. What I’ve decided to try, at least for now, is to get back on a three day a week schedule. It’s a change of attitude — rather than try to push stuff out as I write it, try to build up a queue of material ready to go, allowing me to put more time into more complex writing (and non-writing projects) rather than trying to feed the grind. Of course, if I get too long a queue, I can speed some of it out the door, too. Now wouldn’t THAT be a good problem to have. Another thing I’ve decided to do is try to make sure I keep a variety of material going on the blog. I’ve found, for instance, if I write a few reviews in a row, people tend to zone out and there’s a lot less interest in the later ones. It seems the best way to keep things fresh...

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