So, there’s this thing called a “birthday.” Pesky, tricksy things that keep coming back, year after year, sneaking up and pouncing on the unsuspecting. None are more “unsuspecting” than children under the age of four. By four, I think they’ve gotten the routine figured out, and know what to look for. Hell, they might figure it out by three, I don’t know. It’ll be another year before I solve that little mystery.
Which is another way of saying…he’s two. Two. Two? Yes, really. He’s two.
It’s been a wild year, seeing him grow, both cognitavely and physically (really, for two, he’s as tall as some three-year olds we know). Cognitavely? While far from being a chatterbox, he’s got enough of a vocabulary to identify some common things in the house, the pet’s names. He has some favorite things to request: “Mick Mou” (aka: Micky Mouse Clubhouse) is the current thing, but he’s also gone through stages of “Rat Cook” (Ratatouille), “Cars” (Cars), “Dragon” (How to Train your Dragon), “Nemo” (Finding Nemo), and surprisingly, “Redboot” (Robots).
He’ll dance with music, smile often, or just curl up with a blanket (if he’s watching something). He’ll bring us books to read, and likes to go “outside” (when weather permits), and doesn’t seem to mind the cold. Seriously. He experienced his first time playing in snow recently, and didn’t want to go back inside. He climbs, he slides, and generally makes each of our days brighter.
Here’s to the start of a third year. It’s likely to be just as wild, and just as exciting. We’re looking forward to it.
In continuing the March (read: Irish) trend that I’ve got in place with the Monday Videos, I’m focusing on Irish locations for the next few weeks.
First up: Carey’s Castle, in County Tipperary
From what I’ve seen, it was built by a family of schoolmasters sometime in the 1800s, and was a resident for monks at some point. I found a collection of pictures here, that I give a better feel for the structure and the surrounding area. From what I’ve found, there is apparently a good walking trail nearby.
If you follow the link to the collection, you’ll notice a mix of archetectural styles — the multiple arch designs stuck out for me (some curved, some pointed, and a few blocked).
For another take on pictures, consider these, taken more recently, and in Black & White.
Welcome to March, and I’m going to try something a little different this month. I’m going “theme”… Since we have St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I’m going to be featuring videos by some Irish groups (aka – not just U2). Right, so let’s get this started.
This week, what may seem an unlikely choice (for me), but I’m bringing in The Corrs. Starting as a family act (the principle members are siblings), they had major success in the late 90′s. Their third album In Blue (produced by Mutt Lange, who previously worked with Def Leppard and Shania Twain), catapulted them to #1 in the US, based mostly around the success of this week’s single. The group, as a group, is currently on hiatus while they pursue other interests. Two of the members have solo projects out.
Today, with this inaugural ”Check it Out” post, we’re cheering on someone that I was a “student” with at Viable Paradise…Lauren M. Roy (I was fortunate to see early draft pages for a seperate project, and am looking forward to when that one gets picked up as well.) Her first book, Night Owls, just hit the streets this week. Yesterday, she was featured in Chuck Wendig’s “Five Things I’ve Learned…” series.
Her candor is relatable:
I lose NaNoWriMo. A lot.
I first participated in 2003 or 2004, and while I’ve become a more disciplined writer over the years, never have I “won” NaNo. I made it about halfway once, but 50,000 words in a month, with a full-time day job and other non-writing commitments is, for me, not feasible. The year Night Owls was my NaNo project, I got partway through, fell behind, tried catching up, realized I was spiralling into useless, infodumpy backstory, and put it back down.
For several years…
Which means: don’t abandon those stories, cats ‘n’ kittens. NaNo has no clause stating you’ll chuck any unfinished projects into the recycle bin come December 1st. “Losing” NaNo — or failing to place in any other writing-related event — does not mean you should give up. Keep writing.
The story (or, why you should track this book down):
Night Owls bookstore is the one spot on campus open late enough to help out even the most practiced slacker. The employees’ penchant for fighting the evil creatures of the night is just a perk…
Valerie McTeague’s business model is simple: provide the students of Edgewood College with a late-night study haven and stay as far away as possible from the underworld conflicts of her vampire brethren. She’s experienced that life, and the price she paid was far too high for her to ever want to return.
Elly Garrett hasn’t known any life except that of fighting the supernatural beings known as Creeps or Jackals. But she always had her mentor and foster father by her side—until he gave his life protecting a book that the Creeps desperately want to get their hands on.
When the book gets stashed at Night Owls for safekeeping, those Val holds nearest and dearest are put in mortal peril. Now Val and Elly will have to team up, along with a mismatched crew of humans, vampires, and lesbian succubi, to stop the Jackals from getting their claws on the book and unleashing unnamed horrors…
Allow me a moment to start a new-ish thing here. Writers are a networky-bunch. We have friends, comisserate about storylines, plot holes, and uncooperative characters. At the same time, when we see someone from our circle of people make it through the publishing gauntlet, we cheer. When the book hits the shelves, especially when it’s the first book, we hoist them on shoulders and parade them like they just [insert your favorite sports metaphor here]. Or buy them a drink, if they’re into that.
What I hope to do, over time, is develop this into a reccurring pay-it-forward series, much like Scalzi’s “Big Idea,” Mary Robinette Kowal’s “My Favorite Bit,” and Chuck Wendig’s “Five Things I’ve Learned…” pieces.
The name may change at some point in the future, but the purpose will be the same.
This week’s selection took a little while to find. At least, it took a while to find a good site just about this one. (The author of the article compares the location “to something you’d expect to see in Game of Thrones.) Click through the above link to see some other pictures of the site, or here for some of the history.
This has been making the rounds on Facebook recently, and here’s why I’m sharing. Yes, the performers are good. Yes, the original is by AC/DC. What is critical, though, is to recognize how well they have maintained the core of the original song while reimagining it for a different instrumentation. They are definitely a group I’m going to check out more of.