2017 Reading Challenge!

If anyone follows Modern Mrs Darcy, hopefully you will have seen the fabulous reading challenge that has been set for this year. Two lists: one for fun, and one for growth.

I really had to think hard about my choices for these and finally (after about three hours of research!) I put together a list.

Now this is not final (think Ross and his laminated list in Friends), I may or may not change some of these titles if I come across something I find more interesting. I filled a lot of the spaces out blindly and going with recommendations rather than things that are interesting to me.

On top of these lists, I also have a ‘Read Your Bookshelf’ challenge that I am participating in in an online Facebook community. Given that I think I read one book last year in between breastfeeding and hospital appointments, this is a big change from the norm.

Back in the day, I would easily read three books in a week. Sometimes more. It is time to get back to that.

READING FOR FUN:

o   Barnes and Noble leather bound edition of The Snow Queen and other stories

o   Game of Thrones: Book 1 – George R.R. Martin

o   Shark Dialogues- Kiana Davenport

o   Oksa Pollok Book 1: by  Anne Plichota and Cendrine Wolf

o   The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher

o   Between the Lines – Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

o   The Red Queen Trilogy – Mark Lawrence

o   Grey – E.L. James

o   Wild – Cheryl Strayed

o   The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult

o   Hawaiian Folk Tales – Thomas G Thrum

READING FOR GROWTH:

o   The War That Saved My Life – Kimberley Brubaker Bradley

o   Let the Right One In – John Ajvide Linquist

o   The Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley (Also a book on my shelf)

o   Debriefing the President – John Nixon

o   Girl in Translation – Jean Kwak

o   Persuasion – Jane Austen (another of my shelve books!)

o   The Gender Game series – Bella Forrest

o   The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon

o   Black Eyed Susan’s – Julia Heaberlin

o   The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

o   In The Heart of the Sea – Nathanial Philbrick

 

READ-YOUR- SHELVES-CHALLENGE:

o   If Chins Could Kill – Bruce Campbell

o   Jack The Ripper – MJ Trow

o   Wolfsbane and Mistletoe – Charlaine Harris

o   Pirates – Celia Rees

o   The Silmarillion – JRR Tolkien

o   The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivy

o   The Whale Rider – Witi Ihimaera

o   Leaving Time- Jodi Picoult

o   One Plus One – Jojo Moyes

o   Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – JK Rowling.
Plus a whole bunch of others….not listed….dear god what have I done?!!

HAPPY READING!

Is it Persuasive?

So the first week of the New Year is definitely over and the following weeks and months are stretched out like a blank canvas over a frame…

So for January, I am reading Persuasion by Jane Austen. I am easing into it this year as it has dawned on me that I have at least 30 books between my bookshelf and on my Kindle that have slowly been building up.

Also, anyone who follows Modern Mrs Darcy will have seen the reading challenge lists she has presented us with this year. I have made my own, a sort of amalgamation of them all. At the moment, my current unread list stands at 36….but I have another thirty to add to that, so I guess the goal is to read at least one book a week.

If anyone would be interested in the MMD Reading Challenge, check out the blog and website at www.modernmrsdarcy.com. She also updates you with Kindle Deals (these are US only but usually, if they are on special in the USA they are similarly priced in the UK) and various book related news. There is also a great article posted up recently abut bullet journaling for book lovers; super helpful if you are into bullet journaling (I certainly am!)

 

Robert Burns

As many people may know, January 25th is Burn’s Night here in Scotland. It is where we celebrate the life and works of our national bard, and partake in the traditional Burn’s Supper of haggis, neeps and tatties. I highly recommend reading at least some of his work in its original form using the Scottish dialect. It’s hard to understand but it’s fascinating to see the language in action!

Looking Ahead…

February’s main reading material will be “When Breath Becomes Air”. This has been on my “to read” list for around a year now and I finally ordered a copy. Catch y’all in February…

Welcome to 2017!

Happy  New Year!

December has been an absolute whirlwind! I’ve no idea where the time went or how I became so overwhelmed but there we have it, an absolute mad house for four solid weeks and now I am on such a come down that I can barely keep my eyes open!

What to expect from 2017

Expect a lot more traffic coming from myself, I have a full blown plan for the year ahead, which will be outlined in brief in the next few weeks. I also have to let you all know that the second book I was published in has been released!

Tailfins and Sealskins is a collection of wonderful sea themed tales and poetry, based on myths and legends of the ocean – think selkies, kelpies, mermaids, the whole shebang.

The link for this beautiful compendium is below, and if you order before January 4th you get 25% off!

Please also look for Three Drops Press on Facebook to be kept up to date with other publications and calls for submissions.

2016 was wonderful and tragic on so many levels. Let’s grab 2017 by the balls and do this year right!

Have a wonderful January everyone!

x C x

 

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/kategarrett

 

Constructing a Poem with Memories

When we moved house this year, is struck me how emotional I became.

Now logically, a house is an inanimate object. Why get upset about an inanimate object? Why cry? Why become overwhelmed?

When we moved into our flat in 2012, it was a big deal. A nice two bedroom place, big enough for the three of us. When I fell pregnant, we searched for a bigger place for 18 months before finding anything that we could nab before anyone else did. So we moved, for the first time in four years, to a house.

A HOUSE.

Now to me, this was absolute HEAVEN. I haven’t lived in a proper house in so long…now we have two kids, a garden, three bedrooms, and we walked into a home with a blank canvas. We’ve made it for us (although it’s rented we were given permission to do so), and now we sit, on the cusp of Yule and the Gregorian New Year, having already celebrated Samhain and Guy Fawkes night; and I can honestly say I am content. (Cue being bit on the arse, of course)

However, I still felt an attachment to our old place. I mean, I went into labour twice in that home. I taught myself to bake in there, I had my beautiful bearded dragon, Myles (who sadly passed away this year); my baby girl cut her first tooth and crawled and walked all on the floors in that tiny flat. I loved that flat, even if I despised my neighbours.

With all these memories attached to the rooms…I found it difficult to let go. I was involved with every room as we moved our things out. I cleaned every room, and mentally recorded every special thing that happened in each one. As I did this, I had words jumping in my head.

I am by no means a poet. I did write poetry in my younger years. It wasn’t very good. And while I like what I wrote when we moved home, its because its special to me. Its my expression of sadness to say goodbye to the memories in the old place.

But it is also a positive piece, hopeful and looking forward to the challenges and the future memories we can create here.

We’ve already made some pretty special ones already.

A Long Hiatus…

Is anyone still out there?

If there is; thank you for waiting for me!

Back to my last post, several months ago, exciting times ahead. The main thing was that we were moving house, and we finally are now settled, all repairs and decorating has been finished, and unfortunately everything else fell by the wayside.

Other exciting news that I meant to update you all with was that I have finally began to work towards that Degree I’ve been promising myself. It’s through the Open University, and I am studying two modules concurrently, which is ridiculously exciting for me. I am loving every second. Had my first assignment returned with a very positive score so I am excited to be learning!

The other news, for me, is that in the past few months (during my prolonged absence and ridiculous disregard for my followers – sorry!) I have had flash fiction accepted for publication through an independent publisher!

You may have seen me “press” a few things from Three Drops from a Cauldron or Three Drops Press. My first piece of work was published in an anthology last month (inks to follow) and my second piece is due out in the next couple of weeks.

I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this, and I sincerely hope that the readers enjoy what I have written as much as some of the other more seasoned writers that are involved with the collection 🙂

So with that all said, I bid thee adieu. lease support us fledgling writers and independent publishers by following the link and purchasing the anthology. You will also find a range of other titles available and I promise, you will not be disappointed by the material!

http://www.lulu.com/shop/kate-garrett/three-drops-from-a-cauldron-samhain-2016/paperback/product-22912555.html

C

A Brief Hiatus…

So blog posts have been fairly infrequent of late.

This is mainly because we have just moved home and its been absolute widespread mayhem for several weeks.
However…I am pleased to say things are much calmer now, and in the coming days I have two pieces of exciting information and lots of new work to add to the page.

Thank you for your continued interest and support!

C

The Toddler Years

There is something about babies that brings out that squishy part of all people.

A little gumsy smile, big bright eyes and a little gurgle or giggle and even the toughest of men can be reduced to a doe-eyed cooing wreck. I remembered it well with my first, being stopped on the street by complete strangers, mesmerised by new-born features and wincing at the 8lb 15oz beast that lay peacefully in her pram. Some people placed coins in next to her (called Silvering the Baby) and often, offered babysitting services, none of which were ever redeemed.

When my son was born, he made me appreciate the things that his three-year-old sister does so much more.  The frustrating and embarrassing things less so than the fun ones, but who wants to hear about the fun ones?

Here are my top ten toddler tales from my daughter.

 

  • Toddlers love to talk. And once they develop that particular skill, they will imitate everything. My 3 year old can recite, word for word, the Sky: Believe in Better advert. Also be warned, that if you use a few choice swear words, it WILL make it into their vocabular (and good luck with the not laughing at it when it happens!)
  • Toddlers have no common sense; stranger danger is NOT a thing. So it doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing, that miniature version of you will talk to anyone. And I mean ANYONE. Police officer? Sure, why not. Let’s say hello. Shop assistant? Of course. Random Glasgow arsehole that is shitfaced on buckfast, stoating about the main street with the bottle in his hand? Oh yes, they ESPECIALLY love those.
  • Toddlers have no shame. At all. If your 3 year old daughter goes to the potty, she will shout for everyone and their granny to come look. And the thing is…you HAVE to be enthusiastic or they get upset with you. Yes, that’s right. You have to fake being happy about this. “Wow Abby! Look at the size of that poopoo! You’re such a clever girl!” or “Yes Mason! That IS smelly!” In addition, if your child goes to the potty and then chooses to run butt naked through their grandparent’s house? Don’t laugh. Grandad will not find it amusing at all.
  • Toddlers are so innocent. Nothing seems to faze them at all, and they will tell you things quite matter of factly. My daughter used to watch me breastfeed her little brother. It never bothered her, she understood what it was, but I had to explain that mummy’s “tummies” were boobs. Well. Cue her pointing out her boobs. My mum’s boobs. My dad’s boobs. Oh yes…I was mortified and yet…none of us could stop laughing. Of course, what followed was the question “Why did grandad laugh at that, but the naked toddler covered in poop was a big deal?”
  • Toddlers love repetition. If you have NEVER watched a Disney film before, believe me you will. On repeat. Until the disc burns out. Don’t know the words to Let It Go? You will. I promise you. And I also promise you that the little things that you used to enjoy will be forever spoiled by this. If you are, like my husband, an avid watcher of something like SpongeBob, and you show this to your kid please listen to me when I tell you that they will choose to watch all seven seasons available to you on Netflix on repeat for several months. You will NEVER enjoy SpongeBob again.
  • Toddlers love mess. Painting. Baking. Drawing. Playing with water or with sand. Even if you don’t have sand. They’ll find it. I found a half a pound of sand in my toddlers backpack once while cleaning her room. I don’t know where it came from; I don’t know how she got it. When I asked her, the reply was “I don’t know mummy”. That’s great kid. Stop doing weird shit.
  • Toddlers love to clean. In complete contradiction to the previous point, toddlers love to feel helpful. They will help you clean. Whether you want them to or not. Even if you are neck deep in removal boxes with three overflowing bins, your kid will climb through that obstacle course to get the broom to sweep the quinoa that is, quite literally, at your foot. And she will do this before she will sit and eat breakfast/brush her teeth/play with her brother. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
  • Toddlers never forget. If your child falls and scrapes her knee while running across a road after you told her not to because it’s dangerous, she will wail like a banshee and re-tell her tale of woe for approximately six months. Yes, this actually happened. Of course, she doesn’t run across the road anymore.
  • Toddlers will eat the same thing every day forever. At age three, my daughter has refused any sensible food in favour of chicken and waffles. Consistently. Every day. I have tried to make our own chicken nuggets. I have tried to make our own waffles. But unless the chicken is a perfectly circular, breaded piece of perfection SHE WILL NOT TOUCH THEM. Unless the waffles are perfect little four windowed structures of architectural genius, SHE WILL NOT TOUCH THEM.
  • Toddlers are ridiculously techno savvy. You think you’re so smart because you can work a tablet or do a basic website then your three year old takes your best friend’s encryption protected mobile phone and unlocks it. Then immediately after your friend tells you “It’s ok, it’s on flight mode, she can’t do anything with it”, your child manages to turn off flight mode to play you tube. It will both impress and terrify you. Cue feeling just like your parents.

 

This is the business we have chosen.