Tag Archives: blogging

Snapshot: March 10, 2015

Time: 4:29 pm

Feeling:  A lot more energized than yesterday! And it’s making me really appreciate how important feeling energized is. Yesterday was so bleh, but today I feel like I can (maybe) juggle everything I’ve been loading on my plate.

Reading: I just finished S.J. Bolton’s Now You See Me last night, so I’ll probably start on book 2 of the Lacey Flint series, Dead Scared. And I’m still working on Pet Sematary for the #gangstercats readalong.

The Shadow Cabinet

I also picked up Maureen Johnson’s The Shadow Cabinet from the library, and since it’s a relatively new release, I should get to it sooner rather than later because I’m probably not going to be able to renew it. I loved the first book in The Shades of London series, The Name of the Star but the second book (The Madness Underneath)? Not so much.

Still Writing

And in non-fiction, I’d like to start The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin. Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Life, by Dani Shapiro, also came in from the library. This is the second time I’ve borrowed it – the last time I didn’t get to it fast enough and there were holds on it so I couldn’t renew it. It’s a book that I’ve been wanting to read for a while, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to make the time for it.

Listening: I’m still listening to In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, edited by Leslie Klinger and Laurie R. King. It’s not quite as enjoyable as Klinger and King’s first collection of Holmes stories, A Study in Sherlock, but I’m enjoying it.

Writing: I haven’t done much writing this past week, but I have a lot of revisions and editing in the works. I’m still in the process of revising Waverley, my middle grade children’s fantasy, and I need to edit a short story and a flash story this week so I can submit them.

Working: No indexes this week! I do have ten blog posts to write for a business client. The rest of my time has been spent on preparing to take the plunge into freelance writing – not writing for corporate/business clients, which is what most of my writing work has been (except for one client, where I write articles under my own byline) – but bylined writing for websites and print publications. I’ve been compiling a collection of places and editors to pitch my pieces, but I need to work out a better system. I also need to make time each day to brainstorm ideas for different pieces.

It’s very different from anything I’ve done before. I have a tendency to go into heavy-duty research and learning mode whenever I start doing something different, so the key is to know when I’ve got enough facts under my belt, and start the doing steps. Which means sending out those article pitches and writing those personal essays!

I also have an interview tomorrow with a publisher, again in a field of work that’s new to me. So these are very exciting times indeed!

Blogging: This year I’ve been getting more involved in blogging events, and it’s been fun so far. I haven’t skipped a day yet (except for Christmas day, which was planned), so I’ve managed to stay on course in terms of my 365 days of blogging self-challenge.

Later this month I’ll be hosting a mini-challenge for Bloggiesta – they’re still looking for more mini-challenge hosts, if you’re interested. I’m also working on a post for next month’s theme at  Book Bloggers International.

And next month is Dewey’s Read-a-Thon! I’ve only ever participated as a cheerleader, because in the past my Saturdays were booked with getting Dylan to a variety of different classes. This year, though, he’s in one building in the afternoons, and my wait time on Saturday afternoons has become my reading time. So I’m hopeful I’ll be able to participate both as a cheerleader and as a readathon participant.

Creating: A couple of weeks ago, Joy Weese Moll and I talked each other into taking the Verbal to Visual Classroom course, which started yesterday. It’s basically a sketchnoting course, offered by Doug Neill of the Verbal to Visual site, and I’m hoping it will get me taking more visual notes as I read.

Looking forward to: Getting back to Pet Sematary tonight. I know I said I wouldn’t read it at night, but I intend to go to bed early so everyone should still be up while I’m reading. Hopefully!

The rest of today: I’m heading out with Dylan for a dance class. And then I have the evening for reading!

Dreaming …

So I woke up this morning and for some reason started thinking how spiffy it would be to put the cover art for my latest book on the sidebar of this blog.

(Yes, I really did use the word, “spiffy”. Sad, I know.)

Now, the thing is, I don’t actually have any books published (yet), much less a “latest book” so you’d think that would be motivation for me to start working on my latest WIP, right?

Yeah, if I was even partially normal.

Obviously, I’m not. Because after seeing in my mind how spiffy MsBookish.com would look with the cover art of my latest book in the sidebar, all I can think about now is, “Oh My God, I Have to Get Blogging!”.

Because I know a blog’s not really a blog if it’s not kept current.

The fact that I’m never going to have the cover art to my latest book in my sidebar if I don’t get cracking and actually finish up a WIP so I can start the query process doesn’t even seem to be a factor to me right now.

So here I am, blogging.

(You can all blame this post on my being up until 3:00 am last night and then getting up at the crack of 8:30 am … . I (obviously) do not do well on 5.5 hours of sleep.)

Welcoming Change

Happy new year, everyone! I know, I know – it’s nearly the middle of the month, and you might all be feeling the new year is already feeling a bit old. But since I’ve been so busy, I haven’t really had a chance to do “the new year thing” – and I figure I can celebrate the New Year at any time, right? And invite you all to celebrate with me, too!

So, happy new year, everyone!


This will be a year of many changes for me, a lot of wonderful changes. I’ll have one child starting university in September; it’s a strange feeling that. I know he’ll have a wonderful time, but at the same time, it will be so funny not to have him home all the time.

Ward and I also have big plans afoot for the dojo, which I can’t talk about right now because everything is still under wraps and will be until our Kagami Baracki celebrations next Sunday (Kagami Baracki is the martial arts new year). But they’re very exciting changes, and I’m looking forward to them tremendously.

Some Blog Changes

And there’s another change around our household, blog-wise. A few days ago, I introduced you all to my sister’s blog; I’ve been bugging her for years to start blogging, and I love her new blog, BananaViews.

I’ve also been exercising my persuasion elsewhere, too. For a while now, Ward has been blogging over at my food blog, Muse in the Kitchen, but it really felt to me like he needed a cyber home to call his own, something that truly reflects who he is.

So earlier this month, we started up a new blog for him – and for those of you who’ve heard all about him here on the pages of Ms. Bookish, I’m sure you’d agree that Sensei Cooks is a much more suitable name for Ward’s food blogging!

And as for Muse in the Kitchen, I’ll probably start writing about food and food-related stuff there again – but no cooking! Because I don’t cook. But I do love to eat. Do I ever love to eat!

As For Ms. Bookish

I will be revamping Ms. Bookish this coming month as well. I was too swamped with deadlines to participate in Bloggiesta this past weekend, so I’ll be holding my own version of the event here this month. Along with an anticipated template change, I will be taking a good, hard look at exactly what I want Ms. Bookish to be about.

Many of you have probably already noticed that I have not stuck to my original intent of blogging about books only. I started blogging about my writing, and then I started posting about other things in my life, and one thing has lead to another. I’m not so sure that I can really say that Ms. Bookish is a book blog anymore. It’s that, yes, but more.

And I am so thankful that you all have continued to come and visit me here even though I’m not always posting about books!

And Last, But Certainly Not Least: You

Picture this: I’m in my flannel PJs, hunkered down at my desk, working my way through yet another index (or, when I was deep in the middle of the two major science texts I was working on, it felt more like working my way through days and days and days of chemistry and biology).

Occasionally, I would sneak some time to write up a post for Ms. Bookish, because I missed writing here. A lot.

And every single time I’d post here, someone would always drop by and comment. I can’t tell you how much your comments uplifted my spirits.

A lot of work is great when you’re self-employed, but working too much can have a deadening effect. It’s too easy sometimes to come away from a long, hard working session feeling a little depressed.

But I never even got near that low place these past three weeks. And I owe a lot of that to all of you who came by to read, and especially to all of you who took the time to add your comments.

So, to finish up my New Year’s post, thank you, all of you, from the bottom of my heart!

Now, if I could only figure out how to make smooches here …

Ah, well. This will have to do for now: image

BBAW: Now, and Next Year

Today’s the final day of BBAW! This has been my first year participating in the fun, and it’s been such a blast. My Google Reader is filled to the brim, bursting with a lot of really wonderful new blogs I’ve discovered this week, too. Here’s the final prompt for the week, and it’s a good one:

Tell us and this is really important, in 50 words or less what you love best about your blog!  And then in 50 words or less where you want your blog to be by the next BBAW!

Most of you know that brevity isn’t my strong point, but I’m up to this particular challenge. No tricks this time!

What I Love Best About MsBookish:

All the people who visit here, read what I have to say, make comments, email me, encourage me and give me support in various ways. (Word count: 25 words)

Where MsBookish Will Be By The Next BBAW:

Nominated for Best Author’s Blog. (Yes, I do realize I will need to be a published author first, but my motto is Dream Big.) (Word count: 25 words)

See that? Not only did I meet the 50 words or less goal in my answer to EACH question, I’ve come in at 50 words TOTAL. I knew I could do it!

What about you? What do you love about your blog right now, and where do you see your blog in a year?

BBAW: Raindrops on Roses … A Few of My Favorite Book Blogs!

It’s Day One of Book Blogger Appreciation Week and today it’s time to shine the spotlight on some of my favorite book blogs! It was extremely difficult culling down my list, although it was helpful that some of my favorites were shortlisted and therefore had to be cut from my list.

Which, by the way, is the downside of being shortlisted: I don’t get to have wonderful book bloggers writing wonderful things about me!  More’s the pity, as I didn’t win. Ah well! A big congratulations to Books on the Nightstand, who received the blue ribbon for Most Eclectic Taste, and deservedly so!

Today, I’d like to shine the Ms. Bookish spotlight on the following blogs.

Dorte, at DJ’s Krimiblog. If you’re interested in mysteries and suspense, DJ’s Krimiblog is definitely a place to visit. What’s even better is that Dorte is in Europe, and it’s because of her that I’ve added quite an international touch to my own mystery reading list – I’ve discovered scores of new European authors through her. Dorte also shares her flash fiction on her blog, and they are such great reads. Want to know something really impressive? English is a second language for Dorte, but she has such an enviable command of English, you wouldn’t guess it’s not her mother tongue.

Memory, at Stella Matutina. Memory writes mostly about speculative fiction, and I have gone away from her blog many, many times with a new title or author scribbled onto my “I want to read that” list. She writes with such passion and style – her reviews are very in-depth and she shares a bit of herself with each one, too. I love reading everything she blogs about. And she doesn’t limit her reviews to new or current books, either; she writes about lots of older books and I really enjoy that. She’s also a fiction writer, and is currently hard at work revising her current WIP.

Carrie, at Books and Movies. Carrie is constantly adding to my list of “I want to read that book”. I especially love her recommended reading lists that she occasionally puts together for various genres. And here’s something that I am totally in awe of: in addition to blogging at Books and Movies, Carrie also writes a popular homeschooling blog, Mommy Brain – she homeschools her four children! Ward and I are just embarking on the homeschool path with our six-year-old, and I can’t tell you how inspired I am by all that Carrie accomplishes.

Nicole, at Linus’s Blanket. Nicole writes simply gorgeous reviews, the kind you can sink right into and emerge feeling like your life has been irrevocably enhanced by her words. I always feel like she’s taken me on her own reading journey whenever I pop over there. And there’s often a bonus at the end of her posts: a thought-provoking question which has me commenting with glee.

Rebecca, at I’m Lost in Books. You wouldn’t know it from her blog, but Rebecca only started blogging this year. She is an extremely prolific blogger, and comes up with the most delightful posts. She has an extremely eclectic taste, and reviews new and old books in all sorts of genres. She also has this knack for coming up with the most creative features. A visit to her blog is always fun because you never know what you’ll find.

Meghan, at Medieval Bookworm. As many of you have probably figured out by now, historical fiction isn’t something I read very often. It just doesn’t appeal to me, not unless it’s got a mystery or fantasy thrown into the mix. Despite this, Meghan’s Medieval Bookworm is a place I enjoy visiting very much. No, she doesn’t always review historical fiction, but she does review quite a lot of it, and does that matter to me? Not at all. I read all of her posts with interest, because she has such a gift of writing great reviews.

Update: Well, I don’t know where my mind was at; I’ve been feeling scattered all day. That’s my only excuse. Margot from Joyfully Retired is on my personal shortlist, too. I love, love, love her blog; you know how you visit a blogger and wish you knew them in real life? Well, that’s Margot. Her Favorite Places posts are fabulous, and it’s always such a treat when she gets her husband or her daughter to do a joint review with her. She is one of the first blogs I visit whenever I go bloghopping.

There are so many more book blogs out there that I enjoy reading – it was very hard narrowing down my list to these specific blogs. While I don’t always have the time to comment much, just having each and every one of you in my Google Reader adds immeasurably to my book reading life.

Back home, and the iPhone

I’m back home from my cousin’s wedding reception in New York City. We had a fantastic time, although it was very hot and we didn’t end up walking around very much. The reception was a traditional Chinese banquet, so there was LOTS of food: 12 courses! I think I’m still feeling rather full.

On our way there and back, we listened to Bill Bryson, which made the drive feel much faster. I also managed to finish up the first Harry Potter in audio – it’s amazing what can be accomplished during a nine hour drive!

I spent yesterday resting – it was also my birthday so there were a few more mini-feasts (we are big on food around here). And today we picked up my new iPhone, my birthday present!

Needless to say, I’ve been busy all day checking out iPhone apps. I’m blogging this from my iPhone right now. Kind of slow but very interesting. Now I just have to get more of a life so I can indulge in mobile blogging (about books, of course)!

In the meantime I’ve been texting my kids like crazy, driving them nuts. The iPhone just makes it too easy. But that’s a whole other story.

Blog Overload! (or, How Do You Keep On Top of Your Blog Reading?)

It’s finally hit me. Blog overload, I mean. I spent all day yesterday trying to catch up on comments, and I don’t feel like I’ve made a dent at all in all the blog posts still to be read.

(The state of my Google Reader is beginning to eerily feel like an online version of my physical TBR piles.)

I thought I had a great system nailed down. First, I check out the recent blog posts of everyone who comments here, if they have a blog. Second, I have a special folder in Google Reader called “Must Reads”. That’s the one I hit first. It contains all sorts of blogs: book blogs, writing blogs, just-my-life blogs. All the blogs I really enjoy.

The problem is, that folder has recently gotten totally out of control. So not only is it impossible for me now to make it through that folder in one sitting (I need at least a few days, I think), I STILL have all the other blogs that I liked enough to add to my feedreader originally, the ones that aren’t in the Must Reads folder yet (“yet” being the key word here), and yes, I do still want to check in with everyone.

So now I’m toying with the idea of a different kind of system: separate folders for each day of the week, each one containing a random selection of blogs. I’m wondering if that might help me to at least peek in on what everyone’s doing at least once a week. I’d still keep my “Must Reads” folder and try to get through that every couple of days, too.

I can’t bear the thought of unsubscribing from any of the blogs I’m subscribed to; in fact, despite the fact that my Google Reader is full to bursting, I just keep adding more feeds.

Here’s what I’m wondering: How do you keep on top of all the blogs you follow? Do you have a system you can share?

Some Lovely Awards

This past week I received some very lovely blog awards.

Heartfelt Award

heartfeltDiane at The Book Resort gave me this sweet little Heartfelt award. Isn’t it cute? Diane created this award to express that nice toasty warm feeling you get inside, when you’re relaxed, having tea and cookies with friends and family.

It is such a sweet little award – I love the mouse popping in and out of the teacup! Thank you, Diane!

I’d like to pass this award to five book bloggers who have captured my heart – they are all on my “must read” list, and when I’m blog browsing, I always visit them first:

Kathy at Bermudaonion

Beth at Beth Fish Reads

Joanne at Book Zombie

Cathy at Kittling: Books

Ruth at Bookish Ruth

I’d also like to pass this award to the following non-book bloggers, both of whom have also captured my heart:

Amy at Rainflowers Garden

Heartsdeesire at Simply Blessed

One Lovely Blog award


I received the One Lovely Blog award from Fleurfisher, who happens to be one of my new blog finds, too!

It’s an award for bloggers and blogs you’ve newly discovered.

I’m passing this award to the following bloggers, each of whom has a lovely blog that’s relatively new to me:

Deborah at Books, Movies and Chinese Food

Lezlie at Books ‘n’ Border Collies

Wendi at Wendi’s Book Blog

Bobbie at Book Reviews by Bobbie

Diane at The Book Resort

The Lemonade Award

lemonade_awardDiane at The Book Resort also passed the Lemonade Award to me. It’s given to those blogs that show great attitude or gratitude. Another lovely award!

I’d like to do something a little different with this award. I follow so many great book blogs in my feedreader, and it seems to me that as a whole, this entire community is one with great attitude and gratitude.

So I’d like to figuratively present this award to the community as a whole!

What’s Up Saturday – May 2

It’s been quite a busy week here book-wise and blogging-wise, and I found myself looking forward to writing this Saturday update post, so it looks like it’s going to be something I’ll be doing regularly. Here’s a wrap-up of everything that’s been going on around here, both on this blog and in my bookish mind:

End of a Chapter in My Blogging Life

On Friday, I submitted my final invoice to Darren, at Problogger. I’ve been working with Darren, blogging at one of his tech sites, for three years. It’s been a very good learning experience for me, but I was getting burned out and it was time to close that particular chapter in my life.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet with Darren in person, when he came to Toronto a couple of years ago. He is every bit as nice, kind and wonderful as his posts suggest. It was a great experience working with him.

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews

It’s bizarre how a little something can throw me off my stride so much. In last week’s Saturday update post, I mentioned my discomfort with using a rating system. Your comments were all very helpful and supportive, and I decided to just do away with a rating system altogether.

Since then, I’ve written three reviews, and yes, I definitely found them much easier to write – in fact, I really enjoyed writing them! So this is obviously a step in the right direction for me. Here’s the funny thing: I enjoy seeing other people’s rating systems. I guess it’s just something that doesn’t work for me as a reviewer.

Blogging Rhythm

Those of you who have been kind enough to keep me in your feed readers and blogrolls will know that my blogging here can be patchy at best. But I seem to have discovered my bookish blogging rhythm this week. Doing away with the rating system had a lot to do with this, I think. And I am in love with the book blogging world – the kindness, friendship and generosity of book bloggers never ceases to amaze me, and I am very grateful that I now feel fully a part of it.

As part of this blogging rhythm, I’ve discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that I have a sort of impromptu editorial schedule going on now. It definitely helps a lot to know the type of posts I’ll be writing on specific dates, and it really comes in handy during those times when I feel like blogging, and then blogging some more. During those times, I’ve discovered that I am quite satisfied writing draft posts to be published on specific dates. This is very helpful indeed.

My Monthly Gift to You

One of the most interesting things I’ve started doing recently is the big book giveaways list post that I now write as my Sunday Salon post. What I’ve enjoyed most about researching for this list (apart from finding several giveaways for which I’ve happily thrown my name into the hat) is the discovery of some older titles that I might never have known about otherwise.

And then my brain started doing this idea jumpstarting/brainstorming thing. I have a ton of books – more than I have shelves for, if truth be known. Every month, couldn’t I make a gift of some of my books, through a giveaway of sorts? I could more easily part with them if I knew they were going to the home of another book lover. That was how the idea of my monthly “gift-away” came about. You can read more about it here, and make sure to take a peek at my Giftaway Book Shelf to see what’s currently there.

A New Look – Soon

This coming week I have only one work deadline, so I’m hoping I will be able to transition to a new template. This template I’m using, although I like it a lot, doesn’t work well when my word count goes over a certain amount – the page turns up blank. And I do like to ramble on …! I still have to figure out something for a header, but if I can get that done, there should be a new look here soon.

No Picture for the Week

I wanted to end this long and rambling post with another picture from my life this week, but my husband, who’s a great tidier of things but a little absentminded, has put away the charger for my camera battery and we are still looking for it …

Some Twitter/post glitches …

To all my feed subscribers, huge apologies! I had accidentally set my twitter plugin to actually blog each tweet as a blog post – not at all what I wanted (I meant it to be the other way around). All is fixed now, no worries, and the “tweet” posts have now been deleted.

And if you’re on Twitter, and you want to follow me on Twitter, here’s my Twitter profile!