Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Pics - Tea Party

Because I forgot never got around to this on Saturday...

Here are pics of a tea party my sister and my niece had in the woods next to our house. As you can see, quite a bit of time and effort was put into this little party of two...






My sister and niece are the other two people who live in the house with me. A long time ago, my niece was just a tiny little person, my sister had these killer sunglasses, and I was nine years younger.





 My how time flies.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse - Enchanted, Inc.

Welcome to another edition of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse. The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.

http://armchairsquid.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-cephalopod-coffeehouse-june-2017.html


 Today I am going to tell you about Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson. Apparently this is a whole series and the latest is book 9. Enchanted, Inc. is the first in the series, released in 2005.

Katie Chandler is an innocent in New York City with an awful boss when she's recruited by MSI - Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc. There she discovers that a lot of the strange and unusual things she's been seeing are actually real, but enchanted so that normal people can't see them. But Katie can't be enchanted and this makes her very special indeed. She can see through magical enchantments like hidden clauses in contracts, fraudulent spells, and magically disguised intruders. And now Katie is going to help MSI thwart the plans of an evil competitor threatening to sell black magic.

What I liked best about this book:  Katie and her ever so practical attitude about everything. Being from a small town in Texas, Katie first thinks the strangeness of the city (fairies, a gargoyle) is just a part of New York City and everything she'd heard about the place. When she finds out differently she easily accepts this as if it makes perfect sense, not wasting time in denial. The other characters were interesting, and I enjoyed the story.

What I didn't like: the lack of tension. But. Sometimes it's nice to read a book that doesn't keep you up all night on the edge of your bed.

 If you want something fun, light, and magical, this woulkd be a perfect book.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Pics

It's been a while since I did one of these, but I went on a boat ride with my mom last week and you know I took a million pics! The boat trip was my reward for helping my my mom put flea medicine on her cat but really I think my mom just wanted an excuse to go on a boat ride. I don't need an excuse. Invite me and I'll go.

This 2 1/2 hour boat ride left out of Boothbay Harbor, traveling out past Squirrel Island, Ram Island, Fisherman's Island and then up the coast to Pemaquid Point, in and around John's Bay, and then back to Boothbay Harbor.


Boothbay Harbor. You can see the fog hanging in background.

Getting greyer...

...and foggier
but not so foggy I couldn't get this pic of the light house at Ram Island

or this of Fisherman's Island. 


But it sure was foggy!


I did mange to get these Harbor Seals who were hanging out all over this particular uninhabited area. The Ledges I think...


and more seals


and then a lot of this until we got to Pemaquid Point and the light house there, barely discernible through the fog


Then, mercifully, there was clearing as we came around Witch Island and in towards Rutherford island (did you know there are over 4600 islands off Maine's coast?!)







An old fish house


a house I'd love to live in


the harbor at South Bristol, aka The Gut


Coming up on Gem Island


 Gem Island again, because it was a little gem of an island. Just one little house and as we passed by I saw a guy enjoying the sun in the yard. He looked pretty happy.



This was the last glimpse of sun we had until we got back and left Boothbay Harbor. A mile or so inland and it was bright sun all the way home. Despite the fog it was warm (I was in my shorts and a tee) and awesome being out on the water. Our next planned trip is to the Boothbay Botanical Gardens which I've featured here before but not in a while. So. Maybe next time it will be flowers.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer unless you live in Australia in which case, stay warm !

Monday, July 17, 2017

Reading List

So far I'm reading more books this year than last year, which totaled a pathetic eight. This year I've read nine so far, among them:



  1. We were Liars by E. Lockhart
  2. Denton Little‘s Deathdate by Lance Rubin
  3. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
  4. Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
  5. Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson
  6. Pretty Girls by Karen Slaughter
  7. What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
  8. Armada by Ernest Cline
  9. Thunderstruck by Erik Larson


I am still reading the following books: 

The Great North Road by Peter Hamilton 84% complete – just haven’t been able to connect with this story much as I love the author 

The lies of Locke Lamora Book 1 by Scott Lynch 30% – The mc is so clever and about to pull off something really big and I am sure somehow it’s all going to go wrong and I really need to find out but I’m afraid… 

The Geneva Project by Christina Benjamin 58% – Truth – This reads like a good first draft. I want to know what happens, but I see a lot of problems with the manuscript 

The Wolf’s Hour by Robert R. McCammon 50% - Still not invested the story or mc *sigh*



Waiting to be read: 

The Immortality Game by Ted Cross

The Raven Cycle #3 Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The First Salute by Barbara Tuchman

And finally, the latest book to make it onto my wish list:

Meddling Kids: A Novel (A Blyton Summer Detective Club Adventure) by Edgar Cantero


SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster—another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Debo├źn Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader . . . which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years. (courtesy of Amazon)

So, what have you been reading? Is there a book you've been reading for waaaay too long?




 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Housemates - Lydia

Among the ten living bodies currently residing in this house...



...is Lydia, a temporary roommate.

Sadly she's only here until August, after which her husband is coming up from N.C. and they are both moving into a house they just bought in Rockland. The good new is that Rockland is the next town over so she won't be lost to me.

I haven't known Lydia long, but I hope we'll stay friends. She's a good person. But the interesting thing about Lydia is that when it comes to movies, she has no clue. Zero. She is so unfamiliar with movies that the most common references go right over her head. She would have no idea what you meant if you said,"You're going to need a bigger boat," or "I'll be back," or "I forgot about the tiger in the bathroom." But. She does know what's meant by, "Have fun stormin' the castle," now since we made her watch The Princess Bride. Groundhog Day is next on the list of movies she absolutely has to watch.

What movies would you put on the short list as must see?

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse - Armada

http://armchairsquid.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-cephalopod-coffeehouse-june-2017.html

Welcome to another edition of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse. The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.


This month I'm going to tell you about Armada, by Ernest Cline




This is the story about a game obsessed teen, Zack, who's sitting in class when he sees he sees a flying saucer. At first, he's sure he's crazy because the alien ship is straight out of his favorite videogame, a flight simulator callled Armada--in which gamers just happen to be protecting Earth from alien invaders.

But as he soon discovers, the ship is real and what follows is every gamer's dream, until he starts to think: Doesn't something about this scenario feel a little bit like...well...fiction?


I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves scifi. There are so many insider references to the genre I found myself smiling a lot and totally loving Zack.

Amazon says: At once reinventing and paying homage to science-fiction classics as only Ernest Cline can, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a coming-of-age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you've ever read before.

I give it 4.5

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My House Mates

Before moving, I lived in my very cute little house with just my dog, Jonah, and two cats: Kitten and Miss Mel (aka Little Person because she weighs like 4lbs). Now I live with four other people, two more dogs and another cat. Today I will introduce you to Jay. Her official name is Jayqui (not sure if I'm spelling that right) but everyone calls her Jay or Jay Jay. She is the most adorable little plump cat, as illustrated here...


Jay Jay is the most relaxed, easy going, friendly cat I've ever lived with (my cats are both a bit sketchy). You can pick her up and cuddle, she'll sit on your lap, she isn't bothered by my dog (they're almost friends now), and she has the cutest little purrmeow. The only bad thing about Jay Jay is that she has no interest in is doing anything about the mice that have come to party in my sister's room every night. Interestingly, there are no mice coming to party in my room.


Revision update: p. 207 of 346
Currently reading: What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
Expecting in the mail: one roku so I can finish watching Voyager and be ready for the latest season of Supernatural when it becomes available.


Happy Hump Day all!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Meanwhile...Fallout 4, Revisions, and Something New

In addition to enjoying my new house, I've also been having a lot of fun playing Fallout 4.


Fallout out 4 is a first-person 'shooter' type game, though it isn't all about shooting. Set in the same universe as Fallout 3, the game begins in a vault like its predecessor, but unlike Fallout 3, your character has been cryogenically (is that a word?) frozen only to wake up and witness the murder of their spouse and kidnapping of their son, which of course propels them out of the vault and into the world.

I'm playing the vanilla version, which means I don't 'have' to sleep or eat, and the world isn't as vivid as it could be. I prefer to play modded, because it makes gameplay a bit more real, but I know zip about installing mods (I know, I could probably watch it done on Youtube but...waaay too lazy) so vanilla it is. It's still fun. I've made a good start helping the settlers in Sanctuary, kicked a bunch of raiders out of places, and rescued a Sith (Synthetic Human) detective who will hopefully help me find my son.

Meanwhile, I've also been revising my Paranormal Mystery BELL, BLACK & BRIAR, set in an unnamed city in the late alternative 1950's. I had some fun researching that era, especially the cars





decor


architecture


and the clothes


I would totally wear these. Aren't they adorable?

Finally, I started something new and different, an MG story, which I've never written before. Luckily my CP is well-versed in all things MG :)

So, what's new with you? Writing anything new? Playing any cool games? Glad summer is here?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Lupines

Because I couldn't wait...

This is the way to the Lupines, and the sandpit behind my new home. First we walk across the lawn to the edge of the trees...



Then we fallow the path into the trees..








That's the ridge ahead that looks down and out over the sandpit.








 As you can see, the old sandpit has now become a sanctuary for birds, though mostly geese.

And here are the lupines...
















Jonah likes the lupines


There are pink ones, too, and white, though we don't have any of those in 'our' field.

There's a path that leads down to the water and up to the sandpit. Jonah's pretty happy with the new digs. You can't beat a pond in your backyard and two other dogs to play with. He thinks he's in heaven!

Oh, and not to forget the chickens (and the one rooster who wasn't supposed to be), who now have their own coop...


You know what that means...Fresh Eggy Weggies!