Look Up 3: More From the Calgary Stampede

Would self have thought of taking these shots at this year’s Calgary Stampede if she hadn’t been trying to meet The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week:  LOOK UP?

Most likely, not. Yeah.

(The Calgary Stampede has some serious eats, dear blog readers. Serious, serious eats!)

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lookup 2: Calgary Stampede

Self wasn’t kidding when she vowed last year to return to Calgary for the Calgary Stampede.

As it turns out, this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge — LOOK UP — gave her many opportunities to get a little more creative with her shots as she walked around with her cousins Mike and Pixie.

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Gotta love those emoji pillows!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Throne of Glass: The ‘Katniss’ Affect

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Karina reads! She introduced self to The Infernal Devices, by Cassandra Clare, Spring 2015.

Niece’s latest book recommendation is Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass. It’s about a female assassin who, as the book opens, is stuck working as a slave in a salt mine.

If you’d like to know how she ended up there, read the book. She gets a surprise when, one day, she is taken to meet the Crown Prince.

Assasin’s name is Calaena. She refuses to bow, naturally. Which means someone grabs her by the back of the neck and forces her face down to the floor (Don’t worry, she’s not an egg; she won’t crack)

. . .  she’d been trained to be an assassin since the age of eight, since the day the King of the Assassins found her half-dead on the banks of a frozen river and brought her to his keep. She wouldn’t be humiliated by anything, least of all being dirty.

Throne of Glass, p. 8

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Earth 3: Boulders, Ice, Lake

This week, The Daily Post asks bloggers to “share your vision of our glorious Mother Earth.”

Here’s another corner of the world self can share with dear blog readers: Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada.

It was the last week of April 2015. It was cold. The water looked like it might hurt.

Self has always been enchanted by ice and oceans. Here’s an excerpt from her new WIP:

Working Title: “Oceans”

Finally, when it became too painful to breathe the air, the last remaining human colonies began to send pioneers into the deep.  These early explorers were the brave ones. They mapped the ocean floor, marking the location of dangerous fissures that led to deep cauldrons of hot magma, bubbling up from the center of the earth. They identified places least likely to be affected by the powerful ocean currents.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

And Further Thoughts of the Day

Last year, Banff:

“Awww, you’re being so nice. Unfortunately, it won’t do you any good.”

So right! Self, NICE doesn’t count when you’re trying to get a book contract.

Get IN there, tiger! Show your claws, for crying out loud!

For further thought:

Self’s happiness project takes a page from Gretchen Rubin: Compare what you did today to what you did this same day last year.

Right. So far, today’s big achievement is laundry! Laundry! Laundry! Ta-ra!

She flips to her Happiness Project journal and looks up what she did on April 15, 2015: This cannot be! Is this some kind of sick joke?

On April 15, 2015, self wrote: Success! Did humongous load of laundry!

Such a difference a year makes!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

One Love: Daily Post Photo Challenge

. . . the universe is constantly whispering words of love: expressions of pure joy, respect, loyalty and sacrifice for someone other than ourselves, letting go and focusing on what is most important in this world.

Below, a collection of lovely moments.

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At a Chinese Take-Out in Inchicore, Dublin

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Words From a Kind Soul: This note was given to self in Banff, Canada.

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The Niece That Started It All: Karina introduced self to Victorian Steampunk (The Infernal Devices Trilogy): Self has never looked back.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Treat 3: Still Florence

Florence is a beautiful city. It is beautiful, and yet worldly, and the people are so warm.

Today, Irene directed our steps to two museums. The first one was a kind of natural history museum, with dinosaur bones and the like. But since self has already seen the Mother of All Dinosaur Exhibits, in the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada, she was not much interested in the ones on display in Florence. We moved on quickly to the second museum, which happened to have an amazing exhibit: Works of the Twelfth China National Exhibition of Fine Arts, Italy.

These featured large-scale oil paintings by Chinese painters, the likes of which self had never seen. Thank goodness there was no Ai Wei-Wei. Because he is trotted out at every major exhibit of Chinese painters, and his work doesn’t speak to self at all. After two decades of hearing nothing but praise about him, she is frankly bored by his ubiquitous presence.

Irene and self decided to stop for pastries and coffee at a café called Gilli (founded 1733), which has outdoor seating facing a lively piazza:

Café Gilli, a Florentine landmark

Café Gilli, a Florentine landmark

The Piazza next to Café Gilli, Florence: Self loves the carousel (which strangely had no riders)

The Piazza next to Café Gilli, Florence: Self loves the carousel (which strangely had no riders)

Self had to try the meringues. This one was light and airy and absolutely delicious:

Never had self tasted an airier meringue!

Never had self tasted an airier meringue!

It was wonderful to stroll along the streets by the café, as evening fell.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Change: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is CHANGE:

Perhaps it’s the change of seasons. A caterpillar becoming a butterfly.

Self went scrolling back through her thousands of 2015 photographs and got to May 2015, when she was in the Banff Writing Studio. Here’s an evening sky over Banff, with clouds rolling in:

View From Lloyd Hall, Banff Arts Centre, May 2015

View From Lloyd Hall, Banff Arts Centre, May 2015

And more cloudiness!

Clouds + Canadian Rockies = Weather Situations

Clouds + Canadian Rockies = Weather Situations

And here’s evening settling in, self took this shot from the top floor of Lloyd Hall:

Dusk: May 2015

Dusk: May 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Monochromatic 5: Alberta, Canada, Spring 2015

Today will be her last post on this week’s post: MONOCHROMATIC.

She had no idea, when the prompt was posted a week ago, that she’d find so many pictures to post.

Earlier this year, self was in Banff for the Annual Writing Studio. What an amazing experience it was. She definitely feels confident in her novel now.

Banff, Spring 2015

Banff, Spring 2015

Before she arrived in Banff, she spent a few days with her cousin, Mike Villanueva, in Calgary. So much fun! Mike and his wife Pixie took self to the Royal Terrell Dinosaur Museum, where she saw the most fantastic exhibits. Here’s a picture she took of an underwater dinosaur.

At the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum, Alberta, Canada

At the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum, Alberta, Canada

Driving to the Dinosaur Museum with her cousins, self discovered the true meaning of prairie:

Prairie: Alberta, Canada

Prairie: Alberta, Canada

Looking back at the pictures she took for the theme MONOCHROMATIC, there was:

  • Alberta, Canada
  • Annaghmakerrig, Ireland
  • Cambridge, England
  • Half Moon Bay, California
  • Yorkshire, England

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Monochromatic 4: Moody Landscapes

Half Moon Bay, June 2015

Half Moon Bay, June 2015

On the way to Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada: May 2015

On the way to Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada: May 2015

The Trans-Canada Highway, April 2015 (Can you imagine weather like this in April, self can't even)

The Trans-Canada Highway, April 2015 (Can you imagine weather like this in April, self can’t even)

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