I knit this in record speed—at least for me. I watched four seasons of Castle and just knitknitknit. I guess the mojo returned in earnest because I have been chugging away at projects. Here is one of my more impressive finished objects (FO): Lingonberry Shawlette
The pattern is Lingonberry Shawlette, a free pattern by Andrea Arbour. The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, a superwash merino wool in a fingering weight. I bought it in 2010 from The Loopy Ewe online and it’s the first time I’ve used Madelinetosh. The colourway is called Turquoise but it slightly varigated with blue and green tones. My Ravelry project page has more in-progress photos.
Grammarly is an automated online proofreader that calls itself a “grammar coach”. With an account—which does cost a monthly fee—you upload your text and then run a quick scan. There are free 7-day trial memberships, but I was provided with temporary access (longer than 7 days) in order to provide a review.
I was impressed with the scope of Grammarly’s service and general ease of use. There were a few things that bothered me, but they were minor. Overall, if I needed a service like this, it is quite well-rounded.
The Process: Pros & Cons
I liked being able to select the type of text before the review. I assume Grammarly’s scan is modified based on the type of text you select: General, Business, Academic, Technical, Creative, or Casual. I didn’t really see the difference between General and Casual (I scanned blog posts to test the service), but I did try to use Academic with one of my papers.
My friend Marina is a movie aficionado and podcaster and invited me to a special press screening for The Book Thief last week. After seeing the movie, we recorded a special podcast for Row Three: After the Credits (Episode 140: The Book Thief Spoiler Special).
I read the novel by Markus Zusak a number of years ago (March 2008) so the story was not really fresh in my mind, but I had loved the book and when I saw the trailer a few months ago I was very excited.
You can listen to Marina and I chat about the movie (and book) but be warned: There Are Spoilers! I’m also going to summarize my feelings here (some of which are repeated in the podcast), and there will also be spoilers below.
We went to go see Ender’s Game on opening weekend and were really pleased that it wasn’t in 3D. We saw it in UltraAVX, which was quite sufficient. Having just finished reading the book, I was really interested in the movie.
Some people believe that because of the characters are so young and the necessary special effects that Ender’s Game would be unadaptable. But movie technology has come a long way since the book was written in 1978 and the recent slew of young adult adapted films shows that young actors have a lot more potential than sometimes given credit for.
In terms of the adaptation, I was left desiring something more. I thought the adaptation was scattered and lacked focus. We were rushed through Battle School without realizing the importance of some of the events—what really defined Ender as The One. And then the pacing of other things was oddly drawn out. While I realize that a lot of the subplots about the politics of Earth had to be cut out, the story of Ender’s growth was a mixture of random unexplained events. (As a slightly pedantic aside, I like how they used the word “Formics” for the Buggers, which is a word that author Orson Scott Card introduced later in the book series.)
I love Flavia de Luce! Speaking from Among the Bones is the fifth book in the Buckshaw Chronicles. I’ve read and reviewed the first four books:
- Sweetness from the Bottom of the Pie (book 1)
- The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag (book 2)
- A Red Herring Without Mustard (book 3)
- I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (book 4)
The great thing about the series is that you don’t really have to have read the previous books. The novels can easily stand on their own, although I find that the story is more meaningful with the full backstory. I picked up my copy from Armchair Books in Whistler earlier this year as the novel was published January 29, 2013 in Canada.
A friend of mine (Jen) is starting a new anthology magazine—PULP Literature. Their motto is “Good books for the price of a beer!” and intend to publish genre-bending short stories, novellas, serials and graphic novels, and artwork.
Pulp Literature Press is the brainchild of Jen, Mel and Sue, a trio of writer-editors who took the advice “write what you want to read” one step further, to “publish what you want to read”. Our goal is to publish strong writing and artwork that breaks out of the bookshelf boundaries, defies genre, surprises, and delights.
They’re already in the planning stages for four issues full of great content, including stories from well-known authors C.C. Humphreys, JJ Lee, Susanna Kearsley, and Joan McLeod. The magazine has lots of great people behind it including professional writers, editors, and designers, so you’ll definitely be pitching in for a quality product.
I jumped on the book-to-movie bandwagon again and picked up a copy of Ender’s Game last month. It originated as the short story published in August 1977, which Card expanded to a book and published in 1985, receiving both the Hugo Award and Nebula Award. Orson Scott Card has co-produced the film which will have theatrical release on November 1, 2013.
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
I finished Divergent several months ago, and Insurgent picks up right where it left off, so it took me a little while to get back in the groove.
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful.