Category: Silly stuff

Weird Things in My Kindle TBR

Weird Things in My Kindle TBR

Book hoarding. YESSS.

I’ve had a Kindle (other ereaders are also available, apparently), in one form or another, for at least eight years or so. My original Kindle, in fact, I sent to my dad when I ‘upgraded’ to a Kindle Fire. That Kindle Fire has now become a Spotify machine which crashes regularly, and the Kindle Fire that followed (which has the worst battery life imaginable and crashes regularly) has been relegated to use for YouTube workout videos, replaced by a Kindle Paperwhite. Meanwhile, Dad’s still using that that first Kindle. I kind of messed that one up.

Anyhow, I did one of those “I have so much stuff on here, what is it all?” things (of course, I know there are at least six versions of the WIP, but there is so much more on my Kindle. So much more).

Friends, do not ask this question lightly.

I thought that, other than the many copies of various versions of the WIP, that there were certain things I could expect:

  • Several Learn French books because I have good intentions, mostly never opened because I have terrible follow through.
  • A large collection of classics, because as above. Plus they’re free.
  • A very large collections of BookBub buys, because when I first found Bookbub I bought something off almost every email. Every daily email. Some were free, some weren’t. A fairly large proportion of them are unopened, and a reasonable portion of the opened ones I never finished.
  • A substantial collection of books I actually bought and read.

So, yes, I was prepared for those.

However, some things I was not prepared for.

Allow me to present:

A Tour Through the Weird Books I Thought I Needed.

 

Decorative Napkin Folding for Beginners.

“Napkins are easy to fold into ingenious shapes and add a tough of festivity to any dinner. Whether you use paper or cloth, a napkin folded into a delightful shape is a welcome way to start a meal.”

I do not know why I thought I needed this. Many years ago I did a combination of cooking and stewardessing aboard small boats, and did on occasion need to fold a napkin, although mostly my partner at the time took care of that sort of thing. This was many years before Kindle, though, and it is not an aspect of the job I miss.

However, if I ever decide to buy a dining table and have a dinner party, I will be able to fold paper or material napkins into festive shapes. Which is handy. (And, apparently, my guests “will have as much fun trying to figure out how you did it as you did in the making.” Good times.)

 

Taste: The Story of Britain Through its Cooking.

“In this involving history of the British people, Kate Colquhoun celebrates every aspect of our cuisine from Anglo-Saxon feasts and Tudor banquets, through the skinning of eels and the invention of ice cream, to Dickensian dinner-party excess and the growth of frozen food.”

To be fair, this actually sounds quite interesting, but I don’t know why I thought I’d read it. It’s one of those books I look at in a bookshop, think it sounds clever, then put it down again. The odds of me learning about the history of Britain through the medium of food are – wait. Hang on, I just realised the attraction. Okay, I won’t delete this one.

 

Don’t Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps.

“Don’t throw out your kitchen scraps — grow them! Discover how you can transform leftover pomegranate seeds, mango pits, and dried bits of gingerroot into thriving plants. From the common carrot to the exotic cherimoya, you’ll be amazed at the gardening possibilities hidden in the foods you eat.”

Delusions of grandeur. I don’t even know what a cherimoya is. And I can’t keep actual plants from garden centres alive, so I have doubts about my ability to coax life from garden scraps. It seems that, at times, I see myself as having a domestic goddess side. I’m pretty certain this is incorrect.

 

How to Stay Sane: The School of Life, Book 6.

“There is no simple set of instructions that can guarantee sanity.”

I can’t help but feel this book is poorly named. “How to Possibly Stay a Little Sane” might fit more with that blurb. Not that I’ve read it, because apparently this was not a high priority read for me. I’d also like to know why I didn’t start with Book 1. That might have been something handy, like “How to Adult”.

 

Writing a Novel & Getting Published for Dummies.

“If you’ve always wanted to write that great novel, but never knew where to start, look no further! Taking you step by step from concept to contract, this book provides the tools you need to tell your story with skill and approach agents and publishers with confidence.”

Ahahahahahaha.

Well, we always hope there’s a secret, right? A magic formula that we just have to discover? A secret code, a hidden map, a… book for dummies?

 

I also discovered an astonishing amount of cosy mysteries, both read and not, as well as a perfectly ridiculous number of zombie books. Apparently I’ve been searching for the perfect zombie-cosy mystery crossover for quite some time.

I won’t mention the large assortment of books that I actually already own in hard copy, though…

 

Correct.

 

What about you? Have you made any mystifying finds on your Kindle (substitute ereader of choice here)?

Happy Valentine’s from a Valentine’s Cynic

Happy Valentine’s from a Valentine’s Cynic

I’ve never quite got Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t a huge thing when I was growing up in NZ – or I don’t remember that it was. I don’t really know – maybe it was popular, but as I was a bit of a late starter on the whole romance thing, I may have missed it. I certainly don’t remember that there was loads of cheap chocolate around in the second half of February, and I’m sure I would’ve remembered that. I was all about the chocolate.

YES.

And really, I’m still all about the chocolate. I’m not great at going out anyway, but fighting to get a reservation for an overpriced meal in an overcrowded restaurant, accompanied by an overwrought flower arrangement and an over-sweet card? Not seeing the appeal. And don’t even mention expensive, scratchy lingerie. I will, however, take that half-price chocolate on Feb 15th. Yes. All the chocolate.

These are heading in the right direction for Valentine’s cards.

Look, I’m not an entirely unromantic, Valentine’s Day grinch – actually, wait. No, I am entirely an unromantic Valentine’s Day grinch. I’m not good at romance. I never have been (good thing my preferred genre is very light on it). I am, in fact, terminally unromantic, much to the despair of the SO, who is quite a romantic. He’ll do lovely things like draw a candlelit bath, and I’ll want to turn the lights on so I can read. Or he’ll cook a beautiful dinner, and I’ll eat it on the couch in my pyjamas. Or he’ll have a gorgeous orchid plant delivered while he’s away, and I’ll have killed it by the time he gets home (to be fair, he’s known me for seven years. He should know better than to give me plants. Not once has that ended well). No, my natural inclinations are not towards the romantic, and that’s even before you factor in the commercial bloat that surrounds Valentines, with every shop breaking out in a rather nasty, frilly, pink and red rash and racking up the prices starting around January 2nd.

Not that I’m a cynic or anything.

Friends and breakfast food. Life is complete.

However, I did fall in love with Parks & Rec a while back, and the idea of Galentine’s Day – and Galentine’s cards – just makes me ridiculously happy. Special cards for celebrating friends? And breakfast food? Yes please! And while yes, all friends should be celebrated (furry ones included), I adore some of the Galentine’s Day cards, and I love the idea of telling my friends how wonderful they are, because that’s another thing I’m not terribly good at.

Galentine’s > Valentine’s

I think I can blame the softening of my attitude towards Valentines entirely on Leslie Knope, because it wasn’t long after this that I started to notice some clever little cards sneaking around. Despite my ban on Valentine’s, the SO got me a card that just read, ‘I like you quite a lot, actually’, which was admittedly not bad.

And then I came across a much better interpretation of the kittens and hearts card. Much better. It appears I am not alone in my grinch-ness.

This is right, yes?

So maybe it isn’t all ribbons and frills, and maybe Valentine’s isn’t such a smug couple fest as I always felt it was. But still – my advice would be to choose a quieter night for the meal out, do the flowers and the card at some other time, because surprises are more fun, and definitely wait on the chocolate until the 15th.  If I haven’t bought it all already.

Anyhow, I did have a point, and, getting to it in a roundabout way – happy Feb 14th to all of you, my lovely, wonderful readers! Whether you do the Valentine’s thing or not, I think you’re amazing, and I would share some of my half-price chocolate with you just because you’re so perfectly you. Because that is something worth celebrating.

Well, virtually, you know. Via t’internet, because otherwise we’d have to be right next to each other, and I’m not sure about that.
An A-Z of the Writer’s Life

An A-Z of the Writer’s Life

Don’t be ridiculous. Of course I haven’t run out of blog ideas. It’s only the end of January. This is important stuff!

Okay, important might be stretching it, but this was actually really fun. So, without further ado:

The A-Z of the Writer’s Life

(Because you always wanted to know, right?)

This is fine. This is absolutely fine…

A: Authors. That’s us. Even if we don’t feel like that’s what we are an awful lot, and need constant reassurance and regular infusions of chocolate to believe it.

B: Blogs. First because we think we should, later because it gives us an excuse to inflict our thoughts on unsuspecting internet readers.

C: Caffeine. Lots of it. Lots.

D: Drafts. So many drafts. Why are there so many? Why is there never really a final draft?

E: Editing. The word we don’t like to talk about, because there’s even more of it than there are drafts.

F: Fans. What we want. The kind that read our books, not the kind that move air around. Although in summer they’re nice, too.

G: Goals. Those things that shift a lot.

How we hope it works.

H: Headaches. Because our characters do things that we didn’t say they could do, and very rarely do what we want them to do. Also grammar, and real life interfering with our Work.

I: Insecurity. Lots of it. Will I finish this horrible draft? Will I make it less horrible? Will other people think it’s horrible? Will they think I’m horrible? Am I a horrible writer, or a horrible person, or both?

J: Jokes. Things we’re sure we tell badly, or else something that we suspect we may actually be. Not sure.

K: Kettle. Vital writer equipment. Enables us to fuel our caffeine habit, make pot noodles, and serves as a fantastic procrastination tool.

L: Laughter. Used as deflection when someone asks us how our little book is coming on. Often has a slightly desperate edge.

M: Murder. What we research more than is probably healthy, and said searches are probably why we’re on FBI watch lists.

N: Nightmares. In which we find ourselves at a writers’ conference, pitching an erotic comedy to an agent who represents only literary fiction.

Yep.

O: Oh. As in oh my god, oh help me, oh hell, oh no what have I done, and other things I can’t print here.

P: Proofreading. Because editing wasn’t enough. Editing is never enough.

Q: Quiet. What we insist we need, then get a little uneasy about when we actually get it. Is there a tap dripping? I think the fridge is coming on too often. I did not know the cat snored that loudly. Wow. All this quiet is distracting. How am I meant to work like this?

R: Research. Where we find out about interesting ways to kill people, untraceable poisons, how to dismember a body, and other titbits that don’t really help us in small talk situations.

S: Sighs. Many, and escalating as the drafts mount up.

T: Twitter. Where we ‘connect with readers’ and ‘build our audience’. Also known as hanging out with other writers, sharing bad jokes and pretending to work.

U: Unclear. Our characters’ motives, the plot, and our own memories of where we were going when we started this piece. Also our motivations for ever getting into this madness.

No, no. We just think it is. Hopefully.

V: Vague. Our behaviour when forced to leave the computer and socialise. Also known as ‘unsociable’, ‘awkward’, and sometimes ‘weird’.

W: Wikipedia. Where we fall down rabbit holes of unrelated research and emerge days later knowing the exact breeding cycle of the lesser red-spotted yak fly, but nothing more about the historical relevance of penny whistles, which is what we went in for.

X: X. Usually written large, in red, across vast swathes of manuscript while editing.

Y: Yowl. The sound the cat makes when we step on her in the dark while going to write down an amazing idea that’s just occurred to us at 3 am. Alternatively: Yelp, the sound the dogs makes, and also the sound we make when we walk into the bathroom door.

Z: Zero. The amount of regret we have about any of this. Most of the time, anyway.

 

 

So let me know, lovely people – any additions to this alphabet? Any substitutions? Tell me your thoughts!