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January Updates

A miscellany of things that have gotten me through this often-cold, often-gray month:

Steampunk Fractals. Go look here!

Making patterns. I would love to see a live performance by this artist!

Knitting! I finally managed to dig out the hat I am working on and figure out how to read a chart (or at least this not-especially-complex chart). I haven't gotten to my first cable stitch, but I am on the way!

January was a really excellent reading month for me -- I managed to finish 11 books in a variety of genres and levels (1 picture book, 1 adult non-fiction, 2 graphic novels, 6 YA and 1 MG). I'd love to keep it up all year!

Two of my favorites this month both have "Summer" in the title, a fact I had not realized until I started typing up this blog post. Apparently my brain is eager for winter to be over! But they are also really good books, so I wanted to mention them here...

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Of everything I read in January, this is the one that has been staying with me most strongly. This MG historical juggles so many different elements: life in the 1960s, the civil rights movement, the Black Panthers, family dynamics, sisterhood, art, poetry. But I think the reason I loved it most was the protag, Delphine. She's just plain awesome, from her fierce dedication to taking care of her two younger sisters (even when they don't want to be taken care of) to her sense of humor and wry observations, to her deep wounds and need to be an 11 year old girl. The only reason I'm not reading the sequel right now is that I'm saving it as a reward for my next writing milestone!

The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork
I loved Stork's earlier Marcelo in the Real World, but I think I might actually have liked this one even more. Pancho doesn't necessarily invite the reader to love him, and yet I did, no matter how prickly he was. And I appreciated the absence of false sentimentality, especially involving D.Q., the boy dying of cancer who could easily have been played purely as a sort of Manic Pixie Dream Boy but was much more real.

January was also a good writing month, as evidenced by my latest stickers:



One sticker = 500 words. I'm on the downward slope with this draft, and hoping my momentum will propel me to a finish in February.

I hope January was kind to all of you, too!

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
chris_warrior
Feb. 5th, 2014 10:34 pm (UTC)
WOW owl stickers!
deva_fagan
Feb. 6th, 2014 01:14 pm (UTC)
It's amazing how motivating they are :-)
chris_warrior
Feb. 6th, 2014 01:35 pm (UTC)
remind me to show you my planner sometime, if i haven't already. stickers are awesome. :D
rj_anderson
Feb. 6th, 2014 12:42 am (UTC)
Why can't I find cute owl stickers like that? The best I could do last time I went looking for stickers was some sparkly butterflies, and I haven't earned any of them yet...

Congratulations on your burgeoning productivity!
deva_fagan
Feb. 6th, 2014 01:15 pm (UTC)
If they still have more of the owls at the store next time I'm there, I'll grab extra and send you some :-)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )