Friday, June 22, 2018

ROW80 End of Round Wrap Up, and Visits to Yvoire (France) and Gruyeres, plus Photos from Vaud (Switzerland)

End of another ROW80 round! I'm not ready!

My goals and progress seems to have gotten a bit scattered since the last round. The full set of goals and their various stages of completion look like this:

enter handwritten edits to The Handful of Time (working title) and reread: still trying to finish this

query Druid's Moon: haven't done this yet

query The Charm of Time: I did! No bites...

keep editing Mystery at Bertram's Hotel (working title) on paper: I finished this!

enter handwritten edits to Mystery at Bertram's Hotel: not started yet because --

enter handwritten edits to Captive of the Sea: a new goal, because Harlequin have put out a call for medieval romances

do required research for stories and come up with proper titles

back to school!: this is what took up most of my time. But I'm all done my first year!

think about short story anthology: I did a cover mock up. It needs work

I'm also really far behind in updating my list of books read (see below)...

knitting: I started and finished two craft projects, a quilt square and a blanket. Then I started another blanket:

new baby blanket

finished blanket

a handful of books spirited from my grandmother's house, which I used to read and reread often
(among all the other books I'd still like to bring home with me from her house!)

apologies if you can't read the story -- I see it's available online! The Gift of Understanding by Paul Villiard
 have a tissue or handkerchief handy!

There are many, many good articles in this March 1965 issue of Reader's Digest

As for not meeting all my goals, part of it has been due to school, part due to general tiredness from my announcement, and part thanks to visits from family and friends!

Some quick snaps (apologies for the photo quality and the fact that not all of them are right side up. The latest Windows has no photo editing programme, and I don't have any dedicated software. I didn't put any of these through any filters on my phone, either):

We went back to Yvoire, France (on the ferry!), and I got to visit the Garden of the Five Senses for the first time:


the garden of the five senses, with separate areas filled with flowers for smelling, tasting, touching, etc.

the loveliest smelling roses I've smelled in a long time
there was also jasmine, lavender, sage, and many other lovely scents that were new to me

soft flowers

road down to the lake

view of the castle from a rooftop restaurant (the 13th Century church, off to the right, didn't fit in the frame, unfortunately)

back on terra firma

And we visited Gruyères for the first time in all our years here!

alp horns!

how it used to look, back in the 1930s

the church, from the castle

H R Giger museum (but we didn't go in!)

castle, from the church

more interesting arches

tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant, in a building that's hundreds of years old and used to be where the village goats were kept (attended by the Bonnets Rouges, or Lutins, little elf/goblin-like creatures)

seasonal views of the mountains, which we couldn't see at all, given the overcast day

Added shots from our canton:

La Coudre Bed and Breakfast. This place would be perfect for a writers' retreat!

Lavaux vineyards from the train

Have you visited anywhere new recently?
Which flower scent is your favourite?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Year-End Knitting Round Up, ROW80, and Winter Photos

Knitting round-up for year's end!

Last year my goals were to knit some wee hats and booties to go with the baby blankets I'd made.

I never actually did this. My other goals were:

"1. Finish knitting three more cowls
2. Think about buying expensive wool to make, slowly, methodically, and properly, a gorgeous design by Kate Davies
3. Organise all our photos and print a few, especially for our grandparents
4. Bake more!"

Number 1 never happened. I still dream about number 2. I sort of did number 3, especially as I didn't mean "our" grandparents, I meant our daughter's grandparents. I made two photobooks, but it's already time for the next one. Number 4 sort of happened, except that I haven't really tried any new recipes, but stuck to old favourites.

I posted a brief update in March, that I'd started a baby hat for a gift. Later, I shared the photo, as I actually finished it!

Some of my other posts throughout the year:

Photos from Mont Blanc, and knitting spies in wartime

Knitting in Canada

Starting a new baby blanket

Purchasing the wool

More photos from summertime travels, including Outlander-related sites

Finished blanket!

Why I didn't knit much: I went back to school, and I had a book published: Summer Fire release day post!

Somewhere in there I tried to pick up crochet again but I'm still stumped by the double crochet stitch. I need to watch more YouTube videos.

And now it's a new year. I don't really have any knitting or other craft goals for this year, except to not let them fall completely by the wayside. I need an excuse to knit something as a gift!

Quick update on my ROW80 goals: I'm doing well on entering the handwritten edits for The Handful of Time. Still need to get cracking on querying those other two stories before school starts.

Some winter photos!

Wintertime fondue!

I knit that hat a few years ago!

All the writing projects on the go...

Happy New Year!
What crafts are you working on?

Monday, December 4, 2017

Summer Fire Release Day, and Yarn for a Good Cause

Today is publication day!

The Dirty Bits from Carina Press "give you what you want, when you want it. Designed to be read in an hour or two," these "microromances are guaranteed to pack a punch and deliver a happily-ever-after."

Summer Fire, on sale now!
"'You know how it is with Canadians. We come alive in the summer.'

Ayse had resigned herself to an interesting—but in the end unromantic—trip visiting family in Istanbul. Great-aunts, touristy sites and endless meals…until she meets fellow doctor Hakan.
All tanned skin and defined muscle under his polo shirt, his kisses cut off her breath, making her dizzy. His every touch is a thrill.
Ayse wants all of Hakan at once. His sweet mouth, the heat of his body against hers, their heartbeats slowing together.
A holiday romance might give her some blazing memories come the lonely winter, but maybe, just maybe, the fire between them doesn’t have to be as fleeting as the summer.

For those times when size does matter. The Dirty Bits from Carina Press: quick and dirty, just the way we like it.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!"

Look out for my blog post on the Carina Press blog, featuring photos from the Istanbul that Ayse and Hakan know... And here's a lovely shot of Heybeliada, one of the Princes Islands, which features in part of the story. Ayse and Hakan have also just made a cameo appearance in the current writers houseparty on the Forum -- read it now before the Forum is taken permanently offline in two weeks!

I've also got a playlist for the story!

Summer Fire playlist, featuring
Whisky Trench Riders, Idlewild, Yaşar, Blue Rodeo, Sezen Aksu, Mes Aieux, Duman, and the Divine Comedy!

Book links:

If you read it, please consider leaving a review!

Thank you to every one of you in the blogging community, it's a treat to share this moment with you!

And in knitting news, Yarn Canada is giving away yarn!

"We know so many wonderful people knit and crochet for good causes. We'd love to hear your stories and help out!
We'll be choosing 12 individuals and groups to get a total of $2000 worth of yarn to use towards their projects.
Since we get requests from all over, and we'd like to do something nice for our neighbours, this is open to Canadians and Americans.
Here’s the yarn we’ll be giving away:
1 x $500 of yarn to a Canadian group who knits or crochets for a good cause
1 x $500 of yarn to an American group who knits or crochets for a good cause
10 x $100 of yarn to Canadian or American individuals or groups who knit or crochet for a good cause
All you need to do to apply is fill out the form below and tell us your story. What will you use the yarn for, what impact has this or previous projects had, and anything else important to your story.
If you have any photos we’d love to see them too.
Submissions close December 15th and our staff will work together to select the recipients of the yarn by January 20th."
Please spread the word!