Ever have one of those weeks where you have so many things you would like to finish, and then you manage to finish basically nothing? Yeah, last week was one of those weeks.
But there was progress on pretty much everything, so it wasn’t a total loss. It just felt like a multi-day continuation of my day off when I couldn’t finish half of my errands because of reasons. For example:
Errand 1 of 4: Pick up my newly repaired shoes- I dropped my Edwardian replica shoes off at the cobbler’s shop so they could repair the soles and add a new layer to prevent them from wearing out so quickly. They told me what day my shoes would be ready, and what did I do? Misread the due date on the claim tag and went to the shop a day early. My shoes were not ready. I will pick them up this week.
Errand 2 of 4: When the county took control of our local recycling drop-off sites from the city last year, they slashed the number of available sites from twelve or so to four. The closest one to me (as in, the one that is within five miles) is accessible via exactly one street. After my misadventure at the cobbler’s, I headed north to drop off my recycling, only to discover that that one street was closed for two weeks’ worth of construction. One one hand, great! That street is in desperate need of repair. On the other hand, what am I going to do for the next week and a half with the load of recycling that is currently hanging out in the trunk of my car?
At least I got my groceries without mishap.
Obligatory Mina Photo:
Bonus photo this week, since Mina was being excessively cute!
I made a cat bed for Mina using an old comforter from my bed. She had mostly ignored it over the summer, and I’m sure it’s because of the humidity, and partly because of the heat. But this week she decided to start using it again, and I am oddly pleased by this. Is it because I can see her all curled up and napping and being ridiculously cute? Probably.
She’s also using her little leopard toy as a pillow again. She’s been doing that since she was tiny, and she and the leopard were almost the same size. She is much larger than the leopard these days, but she still likes to curl up with it for a good nap.
In less cute Mina news, last week she decided that the lower kitchen cabinets are absolutely where she wants to be All The Time, and so she pulls at the handles in a desperate bid to get into them. I’ve tied the two main doors shut and pushed the trash can over the third handle to try to keep her out. It mostly works. She just makes a lot of noise while batting at the main cabinet doors and then complains loudly when she can’t get in. She has plenty of hiding places around the apartment, so I imagine the only reason she wants to be in the cabinets is because she knows she’s not supposed to be in them. Forbidden fruit, and all.
This will pass. Eventually, she will realize that I am not going to give in and give her free reign in the cabinets, but until then it’s going to be a noisy battle of wills.
What I Finished Reading Last Week:
- Velvet was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, ARC provided by NetGalley
To continue with the, “Kim meant to finish a lot more things than she actually did last week” theme, I managed to finish exactly one book. It was a pretty good book, though not my favorite by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. This has more to do with the fact that Noir fiction isn’t my usual cup of tea. Still, it was compelling and I found the two rather unlikable main characters intriguing, and I wanted to find out what happened to them throughout the story. An in-depth review will be coming later this week.
What I’m Currently Reading:
- The Elder Edda: A Book of Viking Lore by Anonymous, translated from the Icelandic by Andy Orchard (169/432)
- Wolf Hall (The Thomas Cromwell trilogy #1) by Hilary Mantel, audiobook narrated by Simon Slater (79%)
The Elder Edda is exactly as advertised: a book of Viking (or, more accurately, Norse) lore. As such, it’s a collection of tales and myths like the Lokasenna, wherein the gods get together and end up shit-talking each other. It’s where we find out quite a lot about Loki’s sexual proclivities and how much the other gods are weirded out by them, and that Odin used women’s magic in the past, and so he doesn’t have a lot of room to talk when it comes to holding Loki’s gender fluidity against him. Also, we get stories that feel very much like the Icelandic sagas, just in a shorter form, as in the tales starring Atli (aka, Attila the Hun). There are also stories about Sigurd, which will feel very familiar to fans of Wagner’s Niebelungenlied. I’m quite enjoying these tales, though I often have to go back and reread multiple stanzas when I lose the thread of the work. I want to find another translation of The Elder Edda, as Any Orchard’s translation is very modern, and he has a tendency to translate names to their meanings, which actually makes it more difficult for me to tell who is who.
I’m most of the way through Wolf Hall. Anne and Henry have finally gotten married, Elizabeth has been born (much to the court’s dismay), and the flame has already gone out of the royal marriage. Milk-sop Jane Seymour hasn’t caught Henry’s eye quite yet, but it won’t be long. And Cromwell is continuing his rise and rise, and is quickly learning how to handle Henry’s ever-shifting moods. I am loving this reread. How could I not? This book is, basically, the epitome of historical fiction.
What I Plan to Start Reading This Week:
I mean… there are so many things…
- We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen, translated from the Danish by Charlotte Barslund with Emma Ryer
- The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodksy
- The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women by Nancy Marie Brown, ARC provided by NetGalley
I need to start The Real Valkyrie, as it’s an ARC that’s due to be published soon, and I should have a review for it up before that happens.
I want to start The Wolf in the Whale, but I feel like I should start We, the Drowned before that. We’ll see what happens. August may end up being a month of slightly less reading, if only because I’m trying to get my current writing project written so I can start on the revisions and edits before my self-imposed publication deadline of mid-September. I also have a couple of projects I need to get finished this week (another photography session to edit and mail out to the client, and a drawing commission for a friend), so there may be more audiobooking happening, rather than physical books.
I had intended to get more sewing done last week. That didn’t happen. Part of it was due to the fact that I was running low on the blue linen thread I needed for my new pillowcases. I decided not to start stitching those until I could get more thread from Burnley and Trowbridge, who once again seemed to teleport my order to me as it left their warehouse late Wednesday afternoon and arrived in my mailbox early Saturday morning. So I have thread now and can start sewing my new pillowcases whenever I have time.
I also got the linen for the hand towels in the kitchen pre-washed, ironed, and cut, so they’re ready to be hemmed whenever I get around to them.
Basically, I need another four-day break from work where I can just sit down and sew. That’s not going to happen this month, so I’ll just need to get the most pressing projects out of the way (the photographs and the drawings) and then get more of my writing project done so I can start on the sewing.
Thread, woven linen tape for various other things, and some black silk ribbon. Why the ribbon, you ask? Because hair.
Earlier this year, Morgan Donner posted a YouTube video about how she’d been using ribbon to put her very long hair up for a year, and provided a tutorial about how we, too, could use ribbon to do Renaissance hair taping. I gave it a shot and it mostly worked, but my hair was at an awkward length where the braided ends reached a spot where they were difficult to tuck away, and it was uncomfortable when they got there. At the time, my hair was to my waist, so when I sat down and figured it all out, I came to the conclusion that by November, my hair would have reached a length where the braided ends would tuck away a lot more easily and make the hair taping easier. So I decided to buy myself some black silk ribbon in advance, because maybe I’ll want to do some hair taping for the Halloween season, and the burgundy ribbon I already have just isn’t spooky enough for me.
My hair is currently back to hip-length, so I imagine that by the time November rolls around, it will indeed be as long as I calculated it would be back in February. Until then, I’ll just use my trusty hair sticks
About That Writing Thing:
So this summer has not been as filled with writing as I would have liked it to be, and that’s all on me, as I’ve had plenty of time off and no technical difficulties preventing me from getting it done.
Because I decided that I wanted to start posting a chapter each week starting in mid-September, that meant I needed to get this thing done. It’s been a full year since I posted the last story in this series and I did not want it to take that long. And as the next story (the penultimate one in the series) is going to be just as long, if not longer (the current WIP is approaching 100,000 words, and will need another 10,000-15,000 before I get everything wrapped up). Because I want to finally (finally!) get this series done after working on it for the past seven years, I couldn’t keep procrastinating.
So I promised myself that I would write 1,000 words each day to get this story finished up, and so far so good! I finally finished writing the big battle sequence that has been holding me back for the past couple of months!
I ended up making a lot of the scenes more abstract than the normal action sequence, which I am perfectly fine with, and I’m sure my readers will be fine with, too. No one has complained about other action sequences being more abstract than something out of, say, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’. Now I just have to get the characters home again, get a new-ish character reintroduced and dealt with, further an old villain’s redemption arc, and put the political pieces in place to set up the next story.
After that, there is plenty of revising and editing to do, but once I get the story’s entire structure set down on paper (digitally speaking), it’s much easier for me to go back and adjust everything to get everything lined up, close any plot holes I find, and make sure that I have all the characters in the right places.
I’m getting excited to be working on this again, where earlier in the summer if felt like a bit of a slog. Does this mean that my usual burst of Autumnal energy is coming back after the inevitable Summer malaise? I hope so, because I have so many things I want to finish!