Sunday, March 03, 2019

Weekly Catch Up: Welcome March!

Whelp, we made it through February and all the SNOW, so I'm happy it is now March. I'm not fooling myself, I know March is still very much winter and there is more snow to come but at least we should have a few nice days! At least I have a new calendar page to enjoy and lots of monthly plans to dive into. It will be a busy month. But before we look ahead, let's take a look back a the week that was!

stART: Creating As We Go ~ Episode 96 Art Days, Moving Prep and Breakthroughs

Enjoy hearing people talk about their creativity, both the triumphs and the challenges? If so, have a listen as my sisters Jamie, Suzie and I chat all about what we are getting up to creatively on our podcast stART: Creating As We Go. You can listen below or watch the show over at our YouTube Channel.

In addition to recording stART together, it was great to have sister time with Jamie and Suzie this week! We had an Art Day working on the Year of Collage: Carla Sonheim's Year long class with her, Lynn Whipple and Anne Marie Grgich which was so much fun. We also got some movie time watching time in with watching Big Eyes, which focuses on the story of Margaret Keane and Walter Keane. It was a very engaging watch with great performances and a very powerful story. What a treat to spend so much art-y time together!

One of the super fun things that happened this week was watching Izzy's live show for The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket. She has been hosting a readalong for the Series of Unfortunate Events books, and this is the 12th of 13 books! I jumped into the readalong last year and have been having so much fun participating. It's a first time for me reading this awesome middle grade series, which is quite dark but also very insightful about human nature. Plus, it's very clever with language and words, which I think both encourages younger readers to be curious about words and keeps an adult audience entertained. I am both happy and sad that March will bring the final installment of the series and the readalong. I can't wait to find out what happens.

Made some food this week! Roasted veggies and also muffins. Nothing fancy, but trying to add some healthier (than convenience) options with ingredients that have a longer shelf life. Both ended up being pretty successful!

Friday Reads for March 1, 2019

The push to finish titles was definitely the theme of the week for this Friday Reads!

March 2019 TBR (To Be Read)

I have decided to try a new method for created my TBR this month by created A Page Budget TBR! Instead of picking ALL THE BOOKS I want to read, I look back through the months and see how many pages I actually read in a month, and from there add in books that meet (but don't exceed) that number. I hope it works Wish me luck!

Book Reviews are Coming Announcement / Disclaimer: They won't be good

I talk about my not-great-reviews in a bit more detail in the episode of stART noted above.

Those Books Catch Up: A Christmas Carol, Half Blood Blues, Hound of Baskervilles & Death of a Salesman

The first of my not-great reviews that match the disclaimer above. These are books I read back anywhere from 2016 to late 2018 all for my Shannon Reads "Those Books" Exploration.

SciFi Fantasy and Weird To Be Read Books for 2019

I'm excited to re-invigorate the project this year and hope that proactively choosing the titles to read will help me reach that goal! Here are the 15 science fiction, fantasy and weird titles I plan on diving into in 2019.

Skyline x 2 Film Vlog ~ Film Series Catch Up

It was so fun to do a movie vlog! In this one, I re-watch the original Skyline plus watch it's sequel Beyond Skyline. Lots of fun was had.

That was my week! I hope you had a good one, even if it snowed (or didn't snow) where you are.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Weekly Catch Up: Almost Through February

I am hoping to get back to posting regularly and saying HI! along with sharing some of the week that has gone by included the videos I've posted on my YouTube channel. February has been a bit of a tough month in terms of the weather, so the this week was getting outside! It was very exciting to stock back up on veggies and simply enjoy the slightly milder weather. We also had the gorgeous Snow Moon this week which was stunning. I'm looking forward to trying making roasted root vegetables and sausages this weekend. Wish me luck!

Friday Reads

This is my weekly video where I share the books that I've finished, the books that I've started and anything interesting about books I'm carrying over week to week!

January Haul

In this video I share all the books I bought in January, including how much I spent and also asking the question: is a monthly subscription to a book service money spent on books? I mention Brock and his Let's Read Spreadsheet of Awesomeness 2019.

Film Vlog: Underworld Film Series

I love the Underworld Films (well, most of them!). I happily noticed that the most recent film in the series, Blood Wars, was added to Netflix and I took it as an opportunity to re-watch the entire series and than enjoy the new installment. And I did enjoy the new installment. Here me gush about the films here!

January Reading Reflection

This year I have decided to do monthly videos where once the month is complete, I look back to see what I read and how closely it resembles what I set out to read. The results are, shall we say "interesting" This was published earlier in the month, but as it will be a regular feature this year I wanted to include the first one. I hope you enjoy it!

That was my week! I hope you had a good one!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

2019 Goals and Challenges

Well, it has been a while. I would love to be back to blogging, so here I am with a whole whack ton of different goals for the upcoming year. Now that I see them all together, it's a little daunting especially as I probably have even more goals! Hopefully it will help created a really fun year.

For each set of goals I've done a video over at my YouTube channel, and I've also listed them out in text below (because I LOVE lists!). Enjoy watching, reading or both!

2019 Reading Goals

2019 Reading Goals
Read 6 book for Shannon Reads "Those Books" Exploration
Read 6 books for my SciFi Fantasy and Weird Exploration (specifically 2 SciFi, 2 Fantasy, 2 Weird)
Read 40 book from TBR Unwrappings | PLUS: Only have a maximum of 10 Unwrapped Books At a Time
Book to Film Challenge 2019
Read the Oldest Books on my GoodReads TBR Shelf
Stacking the Series Challenge
A to Z Graphic Novels
A to Z Romances
Read 10 Non-Fiction Art Books
Read 5 Memoirs
Read 5 Non-Fiction Productivity / Practices Books
Participate in 10 Readathons
Find my way to DNFing a book
Plus: Do Monthly Reflections & Share Progress on Goals for the Year

My 2019 Book to Film Challenge

The 12 Book to Film Adaptations I'm Planning to Read:
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Ophelia by Lisa Klein
Three Seconds by Roslund, Anders and Borge Hellstrom (Grens & Sundkvist #5) | Translated by Kari Dickson | Film: The Informer or Three Seconds
Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
Sailor Girl by Sheree-Lee Olson
A Book of Common Prayer by Joan Didion
Dune by Frank Herbert (Dune Chronicles #1)
I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan
Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston
The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch
Splinter Cell by David Michaels (Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell #1)

2019 Film Goals

My Film Goals for 2019:
Watch 100 Movies
Get Letterboxd to 1000+ films seen
Watch 10 movies via Hoopla
Watch 20 movies via Kanopy
Rent 8 New Releases
Watch 10 Netflix Original Films
Make a 2019 Anticipated Films List
Create a List of Favourite Directors | Potential Mini-Project(s) to catch up on their recent films.
List of Favourite Actors (both men & women actors)| Potential Mini-Project(s) to catch up on their recent films.
Genre Catch Up - Make a list of the Action, SciFi, Fantasy, Horror/Cult, Dance, Martial Arts Musicals, International and All-the-tick-boxes Dramas from the past 10 years and start working my way through them!
Do Ryan Chattaway's 24 Hour Movie Marathon (if it is happening this year)
Do a Countdown/Marathon to Fast & Furious in anticipation for Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw (Aug 2 2019)
Watch the 18 B2F Adapatations I Haven't Seen
Finish off 3 B2F Series : Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner
1 other Project, to be determind at a later date
Cultivate Better Movie Watching Habits (i.e. Combat Decision Fatigue and Watch Stuff!)
Find 10 You Tubers that I really enjoy watching their film related content
Di 2 Film Vlogs throughout the year
Do 1 Film related video a month

Overall most important thing: watch movies, talk about movies and be more involved in film related communities. These goals are in support of this overall goal, they are there to guide and encourage, not to restrict or become to dos. I'm achievement oriented, so I like set targets, but as long as I'm going in a good direction, it's all good.

2019 Gaming Goals

I didn't play tons of games last year and that is something I would like to change! Here is my plan, or at the very list my list of goals.

The Games:
Try EVERY game I have bought but haven't tried yet (11 Games!*)
Buy & Play Trials Rising
Try in EARNEST a first person game
Re-play 1 game that I've already played start to finish
Try an online game (PS4 or PC)

Get to 400 Trophies or 1 Platinum | I started the year with 325 Trophies: 0 Plat / 5 Gold / 25 Silver / 295 Bronze
Try intentionally getting trophies for a particular game
Get to 80% of Trophies collected for an already started game
Get to 50% of Trophies collected for an new play game

2 Gaming Vlogs

Try 1 demo of each style
Try 1 demo of each genre
Homework: Make a list of all the styles and genres
Keep 10-20 GB free to DL new demos

Systems/Storage Management
Feel good about storage management | Could be always have 30 - 50GB free, regularly clear off played game, decide the core set of games never to take off, whatever works
check the Playstation store regularly
Save for a PS5 and/or get my PS4 repaired

*The 11 Games I've Bought but not Played Yet:
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China
Assassin's Creed Unity
Dishonored Definitive Edition
Game of Thrones
God of War
GWENT: The Witcher Game
Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition
Murdered: Soul Suspect
The Last of Us Remastered
The Talos Principle
Valiant Hearts

Believe it or not, I'm sure I have more goals for the year, so this will likely be a post that may grows and change as the year goes on. Here is to an awesome 2019!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Update 1: Booktube SFF Reading 2018

We are now one week into my BooktubeSFF Reading Plan for 2018. Let's look at how I did...

My plan for last week was to:
  • Start 2 titles for the March Readalongs
  • Read 1 of the prereq books
  • Finish off any other science fiction and fantasy books I'm reading
  • Decide on if I want to buy The Bear and the Nightingale on Kindle or as a physical book

I did finish off a current science fiction read: The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Halderman. It was a fun, fast-pace SF book about a graduate student who uses a time machine to go to the future, and the adventures (and challenges) that come along with it. I quite enjoyed it, and it was really nice to read something that wasn't a part of a series. Now, I feel like I can kind of check off this task, but I ended up also starting (but not finishing) Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, a kid's fantasy novel that's been made into a film. I'm quite enjoying this one too, but am surprized it's taking me over a week to finish a kid's book. So, I didn't quite clear the decks for new books. Oops. C'est la vie!

One unexpected thing that happened this week was that my library hold for The Bear and the Nightingale came in! One day there were 10 people ahead of me in line, next day.. there it was ! So I don't have to make any decisions on what version to buy, I can just... read it! I will be starting that one soon.

That's as far as I got on any completes. I did start the prereq book of Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (it's sequel, Waking Gods, is nominated this year), and am surprized I didn't finish it because it is quite fast paced in it's interview format style. That said, I'm really enjoying it as it's quite mysterious, has cool science fiction elements and also has fascinating reflections on human nature. I have no idea where it will go. I'm trying not to be gr-rr that I'm not finished, nor that I didn't start ANY of the March readalong reads yet. This is in part because I like to only read 1 book per genre at a time, and I have both a scifi and fantasy title going. That said, I am shocked I didn't start My Favourite Thing is Monsters because I have been looking forward to it sooooooo much.

Current Status
Total Works to Read: 0 of 14
Pre-Reqs to Read: 0 of 2

So... no change for overall status, but I am still slowly moving forward. It's weird not to get at least one thing checked off yet. I did read a lot less than normal this week because I kept falling asleep a good hour and a half earlier than normal and that's when I usually read. From that perspective, it's extraordinary I got any reading done!

My plan for this week:
  • Finish Howl's Moving Castle (not on the list, but still a goal)
  • Start The Bear and the Nightingale
  • Start any of the Graphic Novels
  • Read one of the Short Works
  • Say HI in the Good Reads Group!

For the upcoming week, I think I will set a combination of specific and open ended goals. Last week was pretty generalized, and maybe having specific options will get some good progression going. I also want to participate more in the GoodReads Group, so I am adding that to the list. If nothing else, I should be able to do that!

More info on: BooktubeSFF here and their GoodReads Group is here.

I chat about books every more on my YouTube Channel and on GoodReads.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Friday Reads for March 9, 2018 | A March Mystery Madness Update, SciFi Reads and Shakespeare

In this vlog I share all about lots of the books I am reading, from March Mystery Madness selections to some SciFi Goodness (especially of BookTubeSFF) and of course my my Shakespeare pick of the month.

** Please note that I forgot to mention that some of the dialogue in Black Rock by John McFetridge is in French (with no translation). So far it's usually been short sentences, that I've been able to understand from either with my Grade 12 French), or by the the character reaction/re-iteration. Just wanted to put that out there for anyone who is completely unfamiliar with listening to or reading French.

Reading Troilus and Cressida on the subway was quite an exercise in concentration, my friends!

What are you reading this week?

I mention:
March Mystery Madness GoodReads Group
#BookTubeSFF Website
Rita Awards

Books Mentioned:
Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare
Hadrian's Wall story by Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel | Illustrated by Rod Reis
Black Rock by John McFetridge ( An Eddie Dougherty Mystery) | Narrated by Nicolas Van Burek
The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Surrender to an Irish Warrior by Michelle Willingham (MacEgan Brothers #6)

A Week of Art Goals ~ Week 1 | The Plan, The Action, The Art

Recently I decided to make a vlog were where I followed a week of art goals. This included brainstorming ideas, making a plan, and than checking in throughout the week to see how it went. Overall, it was a lot of fun to do, and very insightful into what worked and what didn't. There were some things that were easy to do, and a fair amount of frustration on days that were harder.

I plan to continue doing vlogs like this, although in future I think I will do them as a set of shorter vlogs, because this ended up being really long! But that is all part of the learning process, trying stuff out and adjusting along the way (or after reflection!).

I hope you find the video interesting, and it helps in working on your own creative goals and practices.

All the things mentioned...

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Update 0: Booktube SFF Reading 2018

It feels a little odd to share an update so soon after my first post about what I plan to read from the BooktubeSFF Shortlist. But hey, if I am going to reflect on how things go I need something to look back to!

Current Status
Total Works to Read: 0 of 14
Pre-Reqs to Read: 0 of 2

My plan for Week 1:
  • Start 2 titles for the March Readalongs (and hopefully finish one!)
  • Read 1 of the prereq books
  • Finish off any other science fiction and fantasy books I'm reading
  • Decide on if I want to buy The Bear and the Nightingale on Kindle or as a physical book

This is your basic clear-the-decks and make-a-start goals lists.

I think the first title I will dive into will be All Systems Red by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries #1). This is a science fiction work that is about a murderbot that's not so great at doing it's job (disclaimer: that the description I've heard through the grapevine, the GoodReads description sounds totally different!). This is a short work, so I think reading it first will be a good kick start to the project. I am also toying with the idea of listening to it being narrated by my Echo. There is something a bit surreal and fun with this idea, although I’m not the best at listening to books. It’s also a bit different, because it’s not an audiobook per se, as it’s literally a computer reading a Kindle book. I think it might be an interesting experiment. That said, starting this project with an "interesting experiment" might be a horrible idea if it doesn't go well. We'll see!

Another book I want to get a start on is My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris, which is a 400+ page graphic novel. I've heard several people mention that this one takes longer to read, so I would like to get into it and see if I feel the same way. If it's going to take a long time, I will tab it off and work through it weekly during March. Or I might read the whole thing, who knows?

The Prereq I hope to read this week is Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (Themis Files, #1), it is in interview format so I hope it will be a one-week read. I also am in the middle of The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Halderman, which I want to finish before diving into other works. I can read a lot of different books at the same time, but I find it's best to stick to one-per-genre at a time, especially science fiction, so that the ideas and concepts of each world stay separate.

If it's possible to get to another shortlisted title this week, I will dive into Borne by Jeff VanderMeer as that's one that I have available. I would love to get my hands on The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, but for some reason I'm stymied on whether to get the physical or Kindle edition. But by the end of the week I plan to have decided one way or the other. Wow. That's bizarre to PLAN to DECIDE something later. I should just decide now. Harmph.

There you have it. That’s my plan for this week. I am not sure if it's too ambitious or just right.  We'll just have to see how things go. What are you reading this week?

More info on: BooktubeSFF here and their GoodReads Group is here.

I chat about books every more on my YouTube Channel and on GoodReads.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

BooktubeSFF Reading Plans 2018

It's the BooktubeSFF time of year again! The shortlist was released a few weeks ago, and now that the readalongs have officially started I feel like it's time to share my plan for this year.

My 2018 Goal: Read the books nominated in the Science Fiction, Debut, Short Work and Graphic Work categories (and then vote on the awards!).

Is this ambitious? YES! Will I be able to do it? Only time will tell!

After much hmm-ing and haw-ing, I decided to go with reading the 4 complete categories of Science Fiction, Debut, Short Work and Graphic Work. Although I would absolutely love to read all seven categories (which also include Best Fantasy, Best YA and Best Middle Grade), I decided to pair down for a few reasons. One is simply volume. All of the tiles add up to 24 books, and Fantasy, YA and Middle Grade have many books that are later in series for which I've not even started. I have a feeling my chances of success dwindles when I need to read double the number of books to catch up with these series. So those book will go on my want to read list, but I will work on them after the awards.

This brings me to the opportunity to jump in at the beginning of series, with exploring the debut novels. It also just so happens that all the debut novels *are* fantasy, so if I pick debut and science fiction, I have both genres covered. Adding Graphic Works was pretty easy as they generally are faster reads and half of them I can get on Hoopla. Short Works were another easy in because they were either pretty available or pretty affordable. I also decided to go with trying to read entire categories, as opposed to just the books I was already interested in, as this will make me a more confident voter when it comes to the voting in June.

I am going to do my best to read the books to the schedules of the readalongs on Goodreads. That means I will be reading 4-ish specific titles a month, each month, for 3 months. That's a lot of books!

My 2018 BooktubeSFF Reading Plan

Total Works to Read: 14
Pre-Reqs to Read: 2

March 2018

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer (Science Fiction)
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Debut)
All Systems Red by Martha Wells (Short Work)
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris (Graphic Work)
Everyone's an aliebn when your an aliebn too by Jomny Sun (Graphic Work)

April 2018

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel (Science Fiction)
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames (Debut)
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (Short Work)
Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Graphic Work)

May 2018

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi (Science Fiction)
Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee (Science Fiction)
The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty (Debut)
Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor (Short Work)
Paper Girls, Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson (Graphic Work)

Pre-Req’s Still to Read:

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

There are so many titles in here that I’m excited for, and were on my radar before the shortlist was even announced. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden is a fantasy novel that draws from Russian folklore and I’ve heard such great things about it. My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris is a HUGE graphic novel that is all done in pen and looks absolutely fascinating. Add to that books like Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames, which wasn't even on my radar but looks like so much fun!

There are also some more challenging works here too, I have a feeling I might not be a super fan of the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire and The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty looks interesting, but it's quite long and I wonder if I will be fizzled out by May. A few of the science fiction books are second in series, so I still have to read the first book first, and I hope I enjoy them enough to want to read the shortlisted book! All that said, I feel committed to the decisions I made of reading entire categories, because I feel that I will be a more confident voter if I do. And there could be treasures lying in wait that I may not have read otherwise!

One thing I hope to remember during this process is that I want to have fun, enjoy awesome books and engage in great conversations. I hope to chat about the books as a part of the readalongs in the Goodreads Group, and many of the people I enjoy watching on YouTube are reading along with the shortlist this year including Anita Lind, Beck's Books, Dee from Books and Quirks, Amy from Zoe Beck and I’m sure I will find many more as time goes on.

I hope to update here and on my YouTube channel regularly with how my reading experience is going, from getting my hands on the books to planning out the reading, to of course how I feel about the actual books! Bring on BooktubeSFF 2018! I think this is going to be a really fun experience.

Love reading? Let's hang out on GoodReads and YouTube!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: My Year in Books

I normally write a post for My Year in Books, but this year I'm breaking with tradition and sharing a few videos as the truth is I talk a lot more about books on YouTube than I write about them! Above I share how my reading year went, specifically in terms of the very tangible goals that I set myself. It's actually quite an interesting experiment to have very specific goals over general goals. I knew whether I did them or not, but I'm not totally sure it was a more a satisfying or resolved way to feel about the year.

I am happy I tried out this way of goal setting, and I certainly learned a lot about my reading habits, both in the actual reading and also in how I like to organize my books and book adventures. I've also included a video of my favourites of the year at the end if you are interested in specific books that spoke to me this year.

The biggest project I took on this year in terms of books was definitely my TBR Unwrapping Project, where I wrapped up all my Owned/Unread books in a different colour by genre or project. I did this mid-year and it totally took over my life for a while as I scoured magazines for colour heavy images, pulled out all my books from my storage nook, and cleared off as many shelves as I could. Since then, I've done a monthly-ish video where I unwrap a bunch of books and it is so much fun! The only hitch is that I thought I would read the books faster! Apparently I didn't take into account that I would still enjoy books from the library, read what I have on Kindle, borrow books and even... buy more books! That said, I've read 14 of the 23 books I've unwrapped so far, and that's not too shabby! I am looking forward to finishing the rest, and of course to unwrapping more in the very near future.

I always look forward to when the GoodReads "Year in Books" comes out, and this year was no exception. I hit a huge landmark of 200+ titles read, which I think is something I will never surpass and oddly for me I'm not even going to try! It was a great year, and I'm happy to have it be possibly my best year for numbers. A lot of the titles were short works, short stories, poetry collections, plays, fairy tales and kids books but there was still a lot of full length novels and non-fiction books too. The numbers are staggering!

Are you on GoodReads? Let's be friends!


Now for my favourites. There were so many this year. It's 20+ books. I couldn't pair it down further than that. All of these books affected me in a positive way, some were enlightening, some where heartbreaking, many were beautifully written and all of them are ones I am thrilled I read this year.

Sidenote: I misquoted the amount of romance I read, it's more like 15-20%. I think I had not finished entering all my books into the amazing Let's Read spreadsheet when I filmed.

If you'd rather read than watch, here is a list of all the books in the video:
  • An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration From The Private Sketchbooks Of Artists, Illustrators And Designers by Danny Gregory
  • Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of ARTMAKING by David Bayles and Ted Orland
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • Wenjack by Joseph Boyden
  • The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • Descender Vol 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire | Illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, Lettered and Designed by Steve Wands
  • 2001: A Space Odyessy by Arthur C. Clarke
  • The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
  • Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Osho Zen Tarot: The Transcendental Game of Zen by Osho | Illustrations by: Ma Deva Padma
  • The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History From Prehistoric to Post-Modern by Carol Strickland
  • 500 Handmade Books, Volume 2 | Juror: Julie Chen
  • What It Is by Lynda Barry
  • Making Art a Practice by Cat Bennett
  • The Wander Society by Keri Smith
  • Warrior of Fire by Michelle Willingham (Warriors of Ireland #2)
  • Tales of the Valkyries: An Anthology of Short Stories, Viking Romance and Viking Paranormal Romance - A Collection of Short Stories by Various Authors
  • Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde
  • Proof of a Tongue | Poems by Sandra Alland
  • FXXK Writing by Jason Ridler
  • A Triumph for Sakura by Jason Ridler
  • Hex-Rated: A Brimstone Files Novel by Jason Ridler

C'est tout for 2017! I hope you had an awesome year, in books and beyond!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Reading Quest ~ TBR

In this vlog I share the books I have chosen to read for #TheReadingQuest, which is a readathon based on a questing through a game card. You pick a character class, and pick books based on the challenges of their quest line. There are also side quests you can do, and you can also pick a new class to play after you finish one quest line. I picked the quest line of a Knight, because in gaming I always pick playing a tank first.

The Reading Quest is created and hosted by Read at Midnight and the artwork was created by CW of Think, Read, Ponder. The quest runs from Sunday August 13 - Sunday September 10, 2017

There is a Goodreads Group for of you want to play along but don't have a blog or YouTube Channel.

TBR for The Reading Quest - Knight Questline:
Highlander's Challenge by Jo Barrett (Challenger #1)
Lure of the Dragon by Anna Lowe (Aloha Shifters: Jewels of the Heart #1)
Warrior of Fire by Michelle Willingham (Warriors of Ireland #2)
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
The Best of Me by Nicholase Sparks

Potential Side Quest Choices:
One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews (The Innkeeper Chronicles #3)
Descender Vol 3

I created a playlist of all the TBRs for The Reading Quest I could find (and I'll update it over time - let me know if your TBR isn't on there and I will add it!).

Are you playing along? What class did you pick?

Love reading? Let's hang out on GoodReads and YouTube!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Sketchbook Summer: Week 1

I'm having so much fun playing along with Sketchbook Summer, which is a art challenge for July where the goal is to finish a sketchbook cover to cover in the month of July. There is a Facebook Page where they share daily prompts, which often include not only a theme/subject but also a style or starting point suggestion (like two-toned or chicken nuggets). I'll admit, I wasn't sure what to do with chicken nuggets...but it led to one of my favourite drawings.

Above: Day 4 - Cave Men Chicken Nuggets

A big focus for me on taking part of this is practice. Not practice-makes-perfect practice, but get-back-in-the-habit practice. Get to the page. Every day if I can. Make marks, explore ideas and don't get tripped up if something doesn't turn out as expected. In fact, not everything has turned out as expected, and there are a few I don't even particularly like, but I'm actually feeling okay with that. I have gotten to the page more often that I have in a long time and I do also have several drawings that I truly enjoy.

Above: Day 3: Skeletons, Two-Toned and Day 6: Cats, Watercolour Washes

One challenge is that have more ideas than I have energy to draw, which isn't super awesome and I'm not sure the best approach for this. Right now I've added a post it note with the idea and left it on a page somewhere near where that theme was. I'm not sure if this was a good idea, or a bad idea, as I've yet to be able to go back and fill in those pages and I really want to get the whole sketchbook filled up. Maybe I'll schedule in a 'catch up' hour sometime during the week for those ones.

Above: The not-quite dones

Overall, I am having so much fun. It's really exciting to see what the prompt will be every day and I've found so many new people that I've enjoyed seeing their work including: Frederick Michaelsen, kyounza and Nick Perkins.

Want to see and hear more? I talk more about the experience of doing Sketchbook Summer on the most recent episode of stART: Creating As We Go and I post my sketches on Instagram,

Find out more about Sketchbook Summer on their Facebook Page and Intro Vid, plus find fellow sketchers and their work over on Instagram.

Above: More Day 4 Cave Man (Women) Chicken Nuggets and Day 7 - "Bad" Chickens with Non-Dominant Hand

Weekly Catch Up: Welcome March!

Whelp, we made it through February and all the SNOW, so I'm happy it is now March. I'm not fooling myself, I know March is still ...