Another Saturday Random

A Clean Desk

So yesterday I came downstairs in the morning, and discovered that my husband, who’s been getting up at 5 in the mornings for the past month, had decided to surprise me and clean up the office.

And not just the office, but my desk, too!

I will just say here that after three and a half months of back-to-back deadlines, my desk was not a very pleasant sight. Many, many things have been lost in the mess that was my desk, some of which have disappeared for good, or so it seems.

But now my desk is clean! And I’m not surrounded by teetering piles of papers, books, boxes and magazines.

I can walk to my chair using a direct, straight path! I can sit down in my chair and breathe! I can see again that my desk is a natural pine color!

It’s a change I needed, because I’d been avoiding my desk for a while now. It’s been feeling too much like work.

And now it feels like my writing space. I will definitely be finishing up the first draft of ELEMENTAL in the next 30 days. I have it my time all planned out – writing at least an hour a day, I should be able to wrap up this first draft.

Clean deskMy Clean Desk

The book in the picture above, by the way, is Creative is a Verb, by Patti Digh – I have Molly at My Cozy Book Nook to thank for this, as I first read about it on her blog. And yes, it’s as lovely as it sounds. The book, I mean. And Molly’s blog, too!

I’m in such an appreciative mood right now.

(And I’m now intending cleaner bathrooms without having to lift a finger …)


Did I say in my last post, I haven’t really taken to the whole vampire sub-genre in urban fantasy?

So wouldn’t you just know it – guess what the next two books I started reading are about?

Vampires. Of course.

It’s not that I don’t like vampire books. In fact, my top read of 2010 was Justin Cronin’s The Passage. And the year before that, I devoured The Strain, which I read one eerie fog-filled day on the shores of Nova Scotia while on summer holidays.

But for some reason, I’ve just not really felt called to a lot of the other vampire-driven books out there – and in the past year, there’ve been a lot of these.

I’ve been enjoying these two latest reads, though. Maybe because they have a different feel to them than other vampire books I’ve heard about.

One is a secret agent thriller, the other one combines magic and vampires and science and history and evolution (yes, it’s as delicious as it sounds).

They are also very different from each other. I’ll be reviewing both this coming week; I’ve already finished Blood Oath, by Christopher Farnsworth (the secret agent thriller one), and am deep in A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness (the magic/vampires/science/history/evolution one), and enjoying it very much.

What about you? Have you read any vampire-based urban fantasies you’ve really enjoyed recently?

Join My Husband on Facebook!

Well, not my husband, exactly – his dojo!

Last year, I created a Facebook page for his dojo, Renseikan Dojo. I’ve unofficially been the “keeper of the page” for the past while (which basically meant, I didn’t do much with it), but recently stepped fully into the role (you can just call me the dojo’s Social Media Director, okay?).

I decided this past week to be the official updater of the page because it occurred to me, even though the dojo is a local business, its Facebook page doesn’t have to be, nor should it.

I mean, it’s a fantastic dojo, a great place to train, but with the emphasis my husband puts on not only the martial arts, but also meditation and the spiritual aspects of practice, it’s a way to share what the dojo’s all about with more than just the actual, local, physical members of the dojo.

I only just started really updating the page this past week, so right now it’s been mainly about the events we have coming up, but I’m planning on regular updates that will feature quotes about Zen, meditation and spiritual practice (that’s the kind of dojo my husband runs, so it’s a good fit) and lots of inspiring videos.

So, if you enjoy the martial arts, or meditation, or Zen or spirituality, or uplifting and inspiring videos, please like Renseikan Dojo on Facebook!

Speaking of My Husband

I know a few of you follow Ward on his cooking blog, Sensei Cooks. And you’ve probably noticed he hasn’t been posting much lately.

We were talking about it a few weeks ago; he told me he just doesn’t like the writing part of it much. He does like writing out his recipes, though; it’s just the words that go before it that he has trouble with, so he procrastinates writing more posts.

So I hit on a great idea. He’s not too sure of it, so I’m working on him. But hopefully, soon you’ll be seeing more posts on there regularly – and you’ll see Sensei Cooks transform into a vlog!

I think he’d be a natural; he’s used to talking to an audience because that’s part of what he does when he’s teaching. All he has to do is talk about the recipe he’s posting, what changes he’s made to it (and he’s always fiddling around with changes), what he liked about it, what he didn’t like.

And maybe one day I’ll get him to actually let me film him doing the cooking, going through all the steps!

That’s my bit of randomness for this Saturday. What have you all been up to this past week?

15 thoughts on “Another Saturday Random

  1. Dorte H

    Can you also find your things, I wonder?
    You see, there is a reason why I dare not clean my desk 😀

    What have I been up to? Writing, editing, publishing, birthdaying, holidaying.

    1. Belle

      Happy birthday, Dorte!

      Luckily everything I haven’t been able to find so far, Ward has known where he put it (“did you happen to see a tube of Blistex on my desk?” “Let me show you where I put your ‘medical centre'” “Wait! I don’t want a medical centre!”) :)

    1. Belle

      I’m not on that page yet, but I had to flip to it to see – it’s a lovely picture, Kathy! Lovely that your bookseller autographed your copy for you.

  2. Janel

    Can Ward come to my house next? Waiving hands wildly . . .

    Speaking of Ward, I would love to see a vlog from him. I have discussed the flatbread with quite a few people this weekend!

    1. Belle

      We went to a dojo party tonight, and I told people that’s what I’m trying to get him to do. They all thought it was a good idea too, so the pressure’s on! :)

    1. Belle

      I’m not very good at cleaning, either. Mind you, I never was, even before I met my husband, so his cleaning tendencies have been a real blessing!

  3. Rural View

    Sigh – I do wish my desk were clean and orderly. Ain’t gonna’ happen any time soon though – too much other “stuff” on my plate. I do love my desk (which is somewhere under all that mess) since my husband built it for me the first year we were married. We cut a tree on our woodlot in Maine, had it turned into nice lumber, and he designed and built the perfect desk. Wish I had a digital camera so I could show it to you. It’s huge but comes apart into 3 pieces for moving and has a glass top. Every time I look at it I remember early mornings in the woods with coffee ready to work.

  4. Steve Kubien

    Ok, ok, ok… I now have Blood Oath and 666 Park Ave. on hold through my library’s ebook system (they do not have A Discovery of Witches). Those the myriad of other titles I have stored away will help me through my carpal tunnel recovery.

    P.S. Remember, if you like vampires…Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. I think there are 8 books in the series.

  5. Beth F

    I think I’d scream if Mr. BFR touched my desk — but I haven’t seen the surface in weeks and weeks. In late April I’ll dig out.

    I can’t wait for the cooking vlogs!


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