Sunday Salon, 6/9/19

Sunday Salon

Read & Reading

Didn’t do a lot of reading this week. I’m continuing on with The Count of Monte Cristo and started the June 1896 issue of The Black Cat. I should be further along in reading The History of Soul 2065 by Barbara Krasnoff but I should still have it finished in time for Thursday’s review. I decided not to join 20 Books of Summer. For once making a TBR list just felt stressful to me.

The History of Soul 2065 The Count of Monte Cristo

Deal Me In: For the second week in a row I drew a deuce; this time 2. I consulted my eternal list of bookmarked short stories and picked “STET” by Sarah Gailey from Fireside Magazine.

Since I’ve never been involved in rounds of proofreading, I didn’t know what STET stood for. It is an instruction on a written proof that a correction or deletion should be ignored. This story isn’t a straight narrative. Instead it’s a dialog between Anna, the writer of “Section 5.4 — Autonomous Conscience and Automotive Casualty,” and her editor as it plays out in Anna’s footnotes to the article and her editor’s comments. It’s interesting that an instruction that isn’t really needed in a digital age, stet, is used as Anna’s general reply. The story itself is about the death of Anna’s daughter, the victim of an autonomous vehicle “accident” and how we as humans go about assigning importance to each other.

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

Movie of the Week

Dark Phoenix came out this weekend. While I have a certain affection for the X-Men and have liked the “young” cast, I’m not going to see it in theaters. The production was plagued by problems and X-Men: Apocalypse wasn’t so much as bad as forgettable. But I was in the mood to watch some X-Men movies. I’d watched the first not too long ago, so I queued up X2 (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) for this weekend. I have to say, X2 is better than I remembered. Part of the reason, I think, is that it takes its time. There’s a lot of plot, but it’s over two hours long. I like The Last Stand, but mainly because it fails while being ambitious. I realized though that, while it maybe has more plot than X2, it’s thirty minutes shorter! I might watch Days of Future Past today too.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Sunday Salon, 6/2/19

Sunday Salon

Reading

I’m setting those library books up and knocking them down! (Okay, not really…) Finished Poe: A Life Cut Short and Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters last week. I’ve already reviewed the first and I have the second queued up for later in the coming week.

Deal Me In: This week I pulled 2, the first wild card of the year! Yesterday, I got off on a tangent and ended up reading about one of favorite subjects: historical automata! I read “The Android Clarinetist by Cornelis Jacobus Van Oeckelen (1838)” by Albert Rice from the Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society (no. 40 (2014), pg 163-189). It was a summary of Van Oeckelen’s life as an inventor as well as a technical run-down of the automaton, which is currently owned by John Gaughan. Just a neat little slice of history.

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

In the coming week, I will be reading The History of Soul 2065 by Barbara Krasnoff, one of the few ARCs I’m reviewing this year. I’m also going to try to get to The Spectacle of Illusion.

The History of Soul 2065 Spectacle of Illusion

Watching

My movie pick of the week? Ocean’s 8 (2018). It’s not quite as sharp as Ocean’s 11, but it’s still a fun heist movie with a really great cast.

Doing

Watercolor Class:

The first “assignment” was to do an abstract using different techniques (wet on dry, wet on wet, etc.). I ended up doing it twice. There are things I like about both, but I’m pretty pleased with how the second one came out. I’m still struggling with the inexactness of watercolors. It’s a learning process in more ways than one.

What I’m Not Doing: Jury duty! I got a federal summons at the beginning of May, but luckily (for me) they don’t need a jury in the coming week. I’ve never done jury duty before. I was half looking forward to it for the experience, but going downtown and actually having to do it was another matter.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Sunday Salon, 5/26

Sunday Salon

Reading

I didn’t finish reading anything in the past week. I went to the library on Tuesday, swearing that I wouldn’t check out any books since I still had two out. Yeah, like that happened…

Deal Me In: I read “The Other Hangman” by John Dickson Carr after pulling 8. Set in an unnamed Western town, the tales tells of the last hanging that occurred there. The first two-thirds of this story was great. Lots of atmosphere and small town civic pride. One not-very-nice man is sentenced to hanging for the killing of another not-very-nice man. But in the last few pages the entire narrative is turned on its head with an epic told-not-shown. It all made sense in the story, but the telling of it was pretty disappointing.

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters: Inside His Films, Notebooks, and Collections Poe: A Life Cut Short Spectacle of Illusion

What Am I Reading Next Week?

  • Poe: A Life Cut Short by Peter Ackroyd – I really should manage to finish this in the next couple of days.
  • Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters: Inside His Films, Notebooks, and Collections by Britt Salvesen, Jim Shedden – This is a shiny book that caught my eye at the library.
  • The Spectacle of Illusion by Matthew Tompkins – A shiny book that padded out my recent Amazon order.

Watching

I’ve been checking movies out from the library too. Searching (2018) is one of them. The conceit of this movie is that everything that the audience sees is what is on the screens and desktops in David Kim (John Cho)’s life as he searches for his missing daughter. It works, mostly. There was a meme a few years back putting John Cho in every movie. I’d be good with that.

Doing

I’m working on this and that. Summer league started last week and I started back on my watercolor painting class. But mostly, Eric and I have been playing some EverQuest 2 in our spare time. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen a few of these updates:

Reesa is not fond of orcs and she’s been busy.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Sunday Salon, 5/19/19

Sunday Salon

Read

Finished reading Life Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman. I reviewed it on Thursday. I enjoyed it, but I almost feel like I should post a list of post-2000 movies that I’ve enjoyed. There are good movies made after 1989!

Deal Me In: I pulled 10 which was “Cargo” by Sean Logan from New Traditions in Terror, edited by Bill Purcell. Frank is paid a large packet of money to drive mysterious cargo through zombie- and rebel- dotted Mexico. He isn’t supposed to open the cargo and he’s supposed to follow the eleven point list of directions to the letter. New Traditions stories take the usual horror tropes and monsters and gives them a twist. Here, the twisted trope is less the zombies and more the old-fashioned Blue Beard “follow directions or you’re dead” type stories.

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

Reading

Poe: A Life Cut Short

I didn’t get quite as much Bout of Books reading done as I wanted, but I never do. This week I’m hoping to finish Poe: A Life Cut Short by Peter Ackroyd. And I’m keeping up with The Count of Monte Cristo.

Did/Doing

Web-pocolypse: I’m the webmaster-type person for our local ultimate frisbee association. On Friday, the web site went down. There has since been much consternation and emails to different support people. Very annoying.

Wicked Witch Retired: Been rewriting, which for me is a slow process.

Nothing much else is planned for the week.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Sunday Salon, 5/12/2019

Sunday Salon

Read

Didn’t finish anything this past week. I did finally get into some short stories I haven’t read in the complete, unabridged Edgar Allan Poe that I’m reading. The delightful macabre surprise among the stories thus far is “MS. Found in a Bottle,” a creepier version of “A Descent into the Maelström.”

Deal Me In: 7, so another story from the Stories Not for the Nervous anthologies. This week’s story was “Something Short of Murder” by Henry Slesar. Housewife Fran Holland has a pony problem, which means she also has a bookie problem. She owes Mr. Cooney $25 dollars and Cooney wants it by six o’ clock. In 1957, when this story was published, that’s a bit of money and Fran doesn’t have it. She doesn’t have anything more to pawn. She can’t tell her husband (this isn’t the first time she’s owed money) and she won’t ask her luckier friend Lila. So what is she to do? She tries, panhandling, but then her luck changes… Decent story. I liked that our main character is a housewife.

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

Reading

Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don't Learn Them from Movies Anymore) The Count of Monte Cristo The Unabridged Edgar Allan Poe

I’ll be starting the new week with Life Moves Pretty Fast and my “dailies” The Count of Monte Cristo and Poe. Since Bout of Books starts Monday, I’m hoping to get through a couple of my library books too. I’ll have a more comprehensive TBR tomorrow when I officially sign up for BoB.

Watching

I found another series-that-I-wish-would-have-lasted-longer streaming on one of the free services: Houdini & Doyle is on Crackle. The series only has a passing resemblance to actual history, but it’s fun and Michael Weston is by far my favorite cinematic Houdini.

Did/Doing

Last week was kind of busy.

On Monday, Eric and I went up to Chino Valley visited my parents and my sister and her wife as they passed through on their way to Kansas City. It was just a quick trip up and back for dinner and dessert.

Saturday was spring league ultimate frisbee finals. It was single elimination. My team won the play-in game, but lost in quarter finals. We stuck around to watch semis and finals and chat with people we know, which is almost the best part of league finals. My body isn’t feeling too badly today, but I’m glad I didn’t have to play more than two games.

Looking forward to a quiet week of reading and writing.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

 

Sunday Salon, 5/5/2019

Sunday Salon

Read

Was it really only this past week that I read The Hellbound Heart? It’s been a long week. I talked about the Clive Barker novella in my Spring into Horror post. I also finished Lady Molly of Scotland Yard by Baroness Orczy, which I started back in February. I’ll maybe post about it this week.

Deal Me In: Black suits are for mysteries from Stories Not for the Nervous and today’s 3 brought me my first taste of Lord Peter Wimsey with Dorothy L Sayer’s “The Man with the Copper Fingers.” Yeah, I know. My literary milieu is lacking when it comes to anything between roughly 1922 and 1975. The story reminded me of the film A Bucket of Blood (1959), moreso than Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) which is also similar, but obviously, since the story was published in 1928, if there was any influencer, it was this story. Which is kind of funny because “The Man with the Copper Fingers” actually uses more technology than either of the later movies.

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

Reading

This week I’ll be continuing Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don’t Learn Them from Movies Anymore) by Hadley Freeman and starting The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I’ll be reading Monte Cristo along with Nick and his Chapter-a-Day Challenge. If you want to join us, there’s still time. The chapter-a-day, unabridged, starts Thursday! I sprung for the ginormous Penguin edition translated by Robin Buss. After reading the first couple paragraphs of various editions, this translation did seem best. And, in light of a rather positive Deal Me In experience, I think I’ll read Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers.

Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don't Learn Them from Movies Anymore) The Count of Monte Cristo Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wimsey, #1)

Watching

I haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame. I’m not even sure I want to. I’m pretty happy with ending my version of “canon” at Thor: Ragnarok. But I did rewatch Iron Man over the weekend. And it still really holds up. (And, wow, everything is in this trailer…)

Did/Doing

“Writing”: When I decided I wanted to finally release David P. Abbott in The Open Court, I thought all I needed was to re-do was the cover. Instead, I looked at the files and realized I didn’t have it in HTML/OPF format. So, I reformatted. Then I looked at what I had for a draft of the cover and realized that I was pleasingly halfway toward what I wanted. Et voilà, finished product.

Then I set about putting it on the website. Which led to…

Blog:  …deciding to have a little more of me as a writer on blog. I changed my theme. I mostly like it. There’s a few more links to Entangled Continua. (Pst: While I’m giving it a “official” release next weekend, David P. Abbott in The Open Court is already available on the website. If you’re interested in early 20th century magic/spiritualism (it’s nonfiction), check it out!)

Writing: In the land of actual fiction writing, I’m throwing back to Wicked Witch Retired, a project last worked on, uh, this time last year. I’ve been reading through my morning pages from when I last wrote about it and I have some excitement for the project. Good idea? I don’t know. Just do the things, folks.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz

Sunday Salon, 4/28/19

Sunday Salon

Well, we had our first official 100 degree day on Friday, so here we go into the tough part of the year. I cross my fingers and hope I can stay productive.

Read

Love and Mr. Lewisham Hammers on Bone (Persons Non Grata, #1)

Finished Love & Mr. Lewisham this week and read the novella Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw. Hammers on Bone is the first in a loose series, the second of which was the first book I read this year. (That makes total sense…) I should have something to say about both later on in the week.

DealMeIn
Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

My Deal Me In story this week was “View from the Terrace” by Mike Marmer. I picked (at random, I swear!) 6; last week was 5. When writing mysteries, an author often has to skirt the line when it comes to being honest with the reader. This is especially the case when the mystery is being related from the point of view of a character who knows the truth. I think the key, really, is gently manipulating the reader into believing one thing by playing into their expectations. Basically, letting the reader pull the wool over their own eyes.

In “View from the Terrace,” Mr. Farnham takes a dive off the terrace of his 12th floor vacation condo. His newly minted widow is surprised when the police immediately refer to it as an accident. Had no one below saw what actually happened? And will the story she tells jive with the story her two children will tell? It’s a twisty little tale and I’m totally fine with being a little manipulated by it.

Reading

I plan on finishing up the book of Baroness Orczy’s  Lady Molly stories that I’ve been picking at and, yes, try to finish #SpringIntoHorror on a high note with The Hellbound Heart.

Lady Molly of Scotland Yard (Illustrated. Annotated. Includes all 12 stories + original essay "Who Was Baroness Orczy?") The Hellbound Heart

Listening

One of my favorite podcast lately is David Tennant Does a Podcast With… . The guests are great and sometimes unexpected. Tennant is a good interviewer asking questions that lead to more of a relaxed conversation than rapid-fire gathering of information. Also, I can’t help but think how much my friend Tania would have loved this podcast.

Did/Doing

“Classes”: I finished reading and working through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I had been doing morning pages for nearly a year before I decided to purchase and read the book. Morning pages are three pages of long-hand free-writing and they are a core practice of Cameron’s system. Since I’m a very evidence-based person, following some of the faith-bound notions of  the book wasn’t ever going to work for me, but it did reinforce some things I know about myself: it’s good to spend some time alone outside of the apartment and it’s good for me to noodle with other art.

This week, I’m going to start using the time I had been giving to The Artist’s Way finish the watercolor class I started, like,  a year ago.

Writing: Was I not working because I was depressed or was I depressed because I wasn’t working? I don’t know. That’s a whole chicken/egg thing, though I had been thinking about switching projects a couple of weeks ago and just couldn’t quite. But this week, I’ve surfaced from my funk and decided to spiff-up and release David P. Abbott in the Open Court. This is a nonfiction book of articles I collected together: the articles that magician David Abbott wrote for the magazine The Open Court. I thought I only had the cover left to do, but instead I spent last week giving it new ebook formatting. This week, I’ll work on the cover and hope to release it by Friday or Saturday or something.


The Sunday Salon is a linkup hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz