Friday, August 5, 2016

The Deed of Paksenarrion - Elizabeth Moon

The Deed of Paksenarrion - Elizabeth MoonThe Deed Of Paksenarrion
Elizabeth Moon
Baen Books
Copyright: 1992

Product Description copied from the chapters/ website:
From the Publisher
The Finest Trilogy of the Decade -- in a Single Volume

Paksenarrion, yearning for adventure and glory, joins a mercenary company. Her chosen path will lead her on a holy quest that will bring down the gods'' wrath on her and test her to destruction.

From the Jacket
Never in our experience has a new author burst upon the sf/fantasy field to such immediate enthusiastic recognition as Elizabeth Moon with her fantasy trilogy, Sheepfarmer''s Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold. Now at last we are able to offer all six hundred thousand words of The Deed of Paksenarrion in a single trade edition. Note that because of its size the complete Deed of Paksenarrion will probably never be offered in a mass market edition.
The Deed of Paksenarrion has bee one of my favorite novels for years now. Like The Lord Of The Rings, it is one of those books where I've gone through multiple copies, although to be honest, I didn't wear out the copies completely for this one. Instead, I ended up donating one to the Science Fiction/Fantasy club at university, and then replacing my replacement copy because some of the pages turned out to be ripped.

Currently, I've got a paper copy and an e-book version as well - a great thing, because there's really no way I want to take a book this size camping! So, I was reading it on my Kobo. But, I'm not going to ramble about that! Instead, this is going to be yet another review of this book. It's at least the third one on my blog now, but it's been a few years since my last review (from 2011).

Elizabeth Moon has written up a wonderfully detailed world with a level of mud, rain and sweat that makes the books seem "real". It's not always the negative details though, but also details of food, history and customs that add depth to the books and the characters.

These days though, I'm finding it harder to review this book on it's own. When I think of it now, it comes gathered together with the Paladin's Legacy series of books that begins with Oath of Fealty, and even with the book of short stories, Deeds of Honor.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Unread Books 2016 - Fiction

After the past several years of running a mixed Unread Books list on my blog, last year I broke it up into some basic categories. I'm doing the same thing again this year, albeit a bit later in the year. Maybe it'll make it easier to keep the lists updated - and to find the books once I've read them. The plan is to have a fiction list, a primary sources list, a Tolkien list and a non-fiction list. Who knows, breaking the list up might even make it less intimidating!

The fiction list is generally the fastest growing, and in some ways, the scariest of the lists.

My Unread Fiction Books 2016:

  1. Star Wars: X-Wing Omnibus 3 - Michael Stackpole (Graphic Novel)
  2. A Flame In Hali - Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross (Fantasy)
  3. The Fall of Neskaya - Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross (Fantasy)
  4. Zandru's Forge - Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross (Science Fiction)
  5. Masters of Fantasy (Anthology)
  6. Sword and Sorceress XV - Ed. Marion Zimmer Bradley (Anthology)
  7. Sword and Sorceress XIV - Ed. Marion Zimmer Bradley (Anthology)
  8. Sword and Sorceress X - Ed. Marion Zimmer Bradley (Anthology)
  9. Sword and Sorceress VI - Ed. Marion Zimmer Bradley (Anthology)
  10. Sword and Sorceress IX - Ed. Marion Zimmer Bradley (Anthology)
  11.  Rocket Ship Galileo - Robert Heinlein (Science Fiction)
  12. Falls The Shadow - Sharon Kay Penman (History)
  13. The Reckoning - Sharon Kay Penman (History)
  14. Sword and Sorceress I - Ed. Marion Zimmer Bradey (Anthology)
  15. Sword and Sorceress V - Ed. Marion Zimmer Bradley (Anthology)
  16. Sword and Sorceress VII - Ed. Marion Zimmer Bradley (Anthology)
  17. Against The Odds - Elizabeth Moon (Science Fiction)
  18. Alexandria - Nick Bantock 
  19. Morningstar - Nick Bantock 
  20. Gryphon - Nick Bantock 
  21. Lord of the Two Lands - Judith Tarr (Fantasy)
  22. Variable Star - Robert Heinlein and Spider Robinson (Science Fiction)
  23. Zoe's Tale - John Scalzi (Science Fiction)
  24. The Forgetting Room - Nick Bantock 
  25. The Venetian's Wife - Nick Bantock 
  26. The Museum At Purgatory - Nick Bantock
  27. Shadow Of The Swords - Kamran Pasha 
  28. The Forest Laird - Jack Whyte (Historical Fiction)
  29. American Vampire - Scott Snyder, Steven King (Graphic Novel)
  30. A Game Of Thrones - George R. R. Martin (Fantasy, e-book)
  31. Stray - Rachel Vincent (Fantasy, e-book)
  32. Queen By Right - Anne Easter Smith (Historical Fiction)
  33. Dreams of Joy - Lisa See (Historical Fiction)
  34. Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire (Fantasy)
  35. By Fire By Water - Mitchell James Kaplan (History)
  36. Heaven To Wudang - Kylie Chan (Fantasy)
  37. Stalking Darkness - Lynn Flewelling (Fantasy)
  38. Traitor's Moon - Lynn Flewelling (Fantasy)
  39. The Empire At War Vol 1  (Graphic Novel, Science Fiction)
  40. The Empire At War Vol 2 (Graphic Novel, Science Fiction)
  41.  The X Factor - Andre Norton (Science Fiction)
  42. Star Gate - Andre Norton (Science Fiction)
  43. Stargate SG1 Do No Harm - Karen Miller (TV Tie-in, Science Fiction)
  44. Stargate SG1 Relativity - James Swallow (TV Tie-in, Science Fiction)
  45. Stargate SG1 The Morpheus Factor - Ashley McConnell (TV Tie-in, Science Fiction)
  46. Stargate SG1 The Cost of Honor - Sally Malcom (TV Tie-in, Science Fiction)
  47. Stargate SG1 A Matter of Honor - Sally Malcolm (TV Tie-in, Science Fiction)
  48. Stargate SG1 Roswell - Sonny Whitelaw and Jennifer Fallon (TV Tie-in, Science Fiction)
  49. Stargate SG1 Alliances - Karen Miller (TV Tie-in, Science Fiction
  50. Masks of the Outcasts - Andre Norton (Science Fiction)
  51. Stargate SG1 The Price You Pay - Ashley McConnell (TV Tie-in, Science Fiction) 
  52. The Renegade - Jack Whyte (Historical Fiction)
  53. The Guardian - Jack Whyte (Historical Fiction)
  54. Written In My Own Heart's Blood - Diana Gabaldon (Historical Fiction)
  55. An Echo In The Bone - Diana Gabaldon (Historical Fiction)
  56. A Breath Of Snow And Ashes - Diana Gabaldon (Historical Fiction)
  57. In The Shadow Of The Banyan Tree - Vaddey Ratner
  58. The Light Between The Oceans - M. L. Stedman
  59. The Third Gate - Lincoln Child 
  60. Equal Of The Sun - Anita Amirrezvani (Historical Fiction)
  61. The Lake Of Dreams - Kim Edwards 
  62. The Forest - Edward Rutherfurd (Historical Fiction) 
  63. The Second Empress - Michelle Moran (Historical Fiction) 
  64. The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill (Historical Fiction) 

Unread Books 2016 - Primary Sources

After the past several years of running a mixed Unread Books list on my blog, last year I broke it up into some basic categories. I'm doing the same thing again this year, albeit a bit later in the year. Maybe it'll make it easier to keep the lists updated - and to find the books once I've read them. The plan is to have a fiction list, a primary sources list, a Tolkien list and a non-fiction list. Who knows, breaking the list up might even make it less intimidating!

Unread Books 2016 - Primary Sources List:

  1. The Histories - Herodotus - Non Fiction (History)
  2. The Peloponnesian War - Thucydides - Non Fiction (History)
  3. Greek Lives - Plutarch - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
  4. Roman Lives - Plutarch - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
  5. Beowulf - Trans. Seamus Heany - Poetry
  6. Anthony And Cleopatra - Shakespeare - Fiction
  7. Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare - Fiction
  8. Richard III - Shakespeare - Fiction
  9. The Comedy Of Errors - Shakespeare - Fiction
  10. All's Well That Ends Well - Shakespeare - Fiction
  11. Troilus And Cressida - Shakespeare - Fiction
  12. Henry IV Part One - Shakespeare - Fiction
  13. The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer - Poetry
  14. The Saga of Grettir The Strong - Fiction
  15. The Conquest Of Gaul - Julius Caesar - Non Fiction (History)
  16. Metamorphosis - Ovid - Poetry
  17. Greek Lyric Poetry - Trans. Sherod Santos - Poetry
  18. On Sparta - Plutarch - Non Fiction (History)
  19. A History Of My Times - Xenophon - Non Fiction (History)
  20.  Roman Poets Of The Early Empire - Poetry
  21. Troilus And Criseyde - Geoffrey Chaucer - Poetry
  22. Medieval English Prose For Women - Eds. Bella Millett & Jocelyn Wogan-Browne - Non Fiction 
  23. Josephus - Non Fiction (History)
  24. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English - Non Fiction
  25. The Life Of Christina Of Markayte - Trans. C. H. Talbot - Non Fiction
  26. Lysistrata/The Clouds  - Aristophanes - Fiction (History, Play)
  27. Pausanias Guide to Greece Volume One Translated by Peter Levy - Non Fiction (History) 
  28. The Landmark Arrian - Non Fiction (History)
  29. The Crusades A Reader - Ed. S. J. Allen and Emilie Amt - Non Fiction (History)
  30. Women's Writing In Middle English - Ed. Alexandra Barratt - Non Fiction (History)
  31. The Landmark Hellenika - Ed. Robert Strassler - Non Fiction (History)
  32. Chronicles of the First Crusade - Ed. Christopher Tyerman - Non Fiction (History)
  33. Everyman And Medieval Miracle Plays - Ed. A. C. Crawley - Non Fiction
  34. Juvenal The Sixteen Satires - Trans. Peter Green - Poetry
  35. Aeschylus II - Play
  36. Euripides I - Play
  37. Sophocles II - Play
  38. Reading The Middle Ages - Ed. Barbara Rosenwein - Non Fiction (History)
  39. The Song of Roland - Poetry
  40. Rome And Italy - Livy - Non Fiction (History)
  41. The Early History of Rome - Livy - Non Fiction (History)
  42. Odes and Epodes - Horace - Poetry
  43. Joinville And Villehardouin Chronicles of the First Crusade - Non Fiction (History)
  44. The Book Of Contemplation: Islam and the Crusades - Usama Ibn Munqidh - Non Fiction (History)
  45. The Book of Margery Kempe - Non Fiction (Autobiography)

Unread Books 2016 - Non Fiction

After the past several years of running a mixed Unread Books list on my blog, last year I broke it up into some basic categories. I'm doing the same thing again this year, albeit a bit later in the year. Maybe it'll make it easier to keep the lists updated - and to find the books once I've read them. The plan is to have a fiction list, a primary sources list, a Tolkien list and a non-fiction list. Who knows, breaking the list up might even make it less intimidating!

My Unread Books List 2016 - Non Fiction:

  1. Women In Medieval Society - Ed. Susan Mosher Stuard (History)
  2. The Lady In Medieval England 1000-1500 - Peter Coss (History)
  3. The History of the World in 100 Objects - Neil MacGregor (History)
  4. The Zero Mile Diet: A Year Round Guide To Growing Organic Food - Carolyn Herriot (Gardening)
  5.  The Crusader States - Malcolm Barber (History)
  6. Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades - Johnathan Phillips (History)
  7. Alexander The Great - Philip Freeman (History, Biography)
  8. The Rise And Fall of Ancient Egypt - Toby Wilkinson (History)
  9. The Ruin of the Roman Empire: A New History - James J. O'Donnell (History)
  10. Atlas of Medieval Europe (History)
  11. The Axe and the Oath - Robert Fossier (History)
  12. A Short History of the Middle Ages - Barbara Rosenwein (History)
  13. The Grand Design - Steven Hawking 
  14. The Last Apocalypse - James Reston Jr. (History)
  15. Medieval Households - David Herlihy (History)
  16. Special Sisters: Women In The European Middle Ages - Arthur Fredrick Ide (History)
  17. Medieval Costume And Fashion - Herbert Norris (History)
  18. Sex, Dissidence And Damnation: Minority Groups In The Middle Ages - Jeffrey Richards (History)
  19. Daily Living In The Twelfth Century (History)
  20. Cathedral, Forge And Waterwheel - Francis And Joseph Gies (History)
  21. Medicine And Society In Later Medieval England - Caroline Rawcliffe (History)
  22. Londinium - John Morris (History)
  23. The Archaeology Of Roman Britain - R. G. Collingwood (History)
  24. Londinium - John Morris (History)
  25. The Archaeology Of Roman Britain - R. G. Collingwood (History)
  26. Women in Early Medieval Europe 400-1100 - Lisa M. Bitel (History)
  27. An Illustrated History of its First 12000 Years: Toronto edited by Ronald F. Williamson (History)
  28. Becoming Modern In Toronto: The Industrial Exhibition - Keith Walden (History)
  29. The Complete World Of The Dead Sea Scrolls - Phillip R. Davies, George J. Brooke and Phillip R. Callaway (History)
  30. Dictionary Of Mythology
  31. Hadrian - Anthony Everitt (Biography)
  32. The Inheritance Of Rome - Chris Wickham (History)
  33. The Ties That Bound - Barbara Hanawalt (History)
  34. Making A Living In The Middle Ages - Christopher Dyer (History)
  35. The Art Of Medieval Hunting - John Cummins (History)
  36. Eleanor Of Aquitaine - Alison Weir (Biography)
  37. Growing Up In Medieval London - Barbara Hanawalt (History)
  38. The Lost Capital Of Byzantium - Steven Runciman (History)
  39.  Readings In Medieval History - Patrick Geary (History)
  40.  The Real Middle Earth - Brian Bates  (History)
  41. Khubilai Khan's Lost Fleet: In Search of a Legendary Armada - James Delgado (History)
  42. The Medieval World - Eds. Peter Linehan & Janet L. Nelson (History)
  43. Europe And The Middle Ages - Edward Peters (History)
  44. The Age of the Cathedrals - Georges Duby (History)
  45. A History Of Private Life I (History)
  46. A History Of Private Life II (History)
  47. The Peasantries Of Europe - Ed. Tom Scott (History)
  48. Law And Life of Rome - J. A. Crook (History)
  49. The Temple And the Lodge - Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh
  50. The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception - Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh
  51. The Battle Of Salamis - Barry Strauss (History)
  52. The Knights Templar - Piers Paul Read - Non Fiction (History)
  53. The Lost Tomb Of Alexander The Great - Andrew Michael Chugg (History)
  54. Rome And Jerusalem - Martin Goodman (History)
  55. The History of Britain - Simon Schama (History)
  56. Caesar - Adrian Goldworthy (History, Biography)
  57. The Fall Of The Roman Empire - Peter Heather (History)
  58. Xenophon's Retreat - Robin Waterfield (History)
  59. Isabella - Alison Weir (History, Biography)
  60. An Imperial Possession - David Mattingly (History)
  61. The Peloponnesian War - Donald Kagan (History)
  62. Augustus: The Life Of Rome's First Emperor - Anthony Everitt (History, Biography)
  63. Cicero - Anthony Everitt (History, Biography)
  64. God's War - Christopher Tyerman (History)
  65. Life In A Medieval City - Francis and Joseph Gies (History)
  66. Life In A Medieval Castle - Francis and Joseph Gies (History)
  67.  Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson (Biography)
  68. Armies Of Heaven - Jay Rubenstein (History)
  69. Sea of Faith - Stepehen O'Shea (History)
  70. Beyond Book Indexing - Ed. Dianne Brenner and Marilyn Rowland (Indexing)
  71. The Medieval World Europe 1100-1350 - Friedrich Heer (History)
  72. The City in the Greek and Roman World - E.J. Owens (History)
  73. The Greek World After Alexander 323-30 B.C. - Graham Shipley (History)
  74. A Great And Terrible King: Edward I And The Forging Of Britain - Mark Morris (History, Biography)
  75. Cleopatra - Stacy Schiff (Biography, E-book, History)
  76. Antony and Cleopatra - Adrian Goldsworthy (Biography, History)
  77. Cleopatra A Biography - Duane W. Roller (History, Biography)
  78. Cleopatra the Great The Woman Behind The Legend - Joann Fletcher (History, Biography)
  79. Cleopatra The Search For The Last Queen Of Egypt - Zahi Hawass and Franck Goddio (History, Archaeology, Biography)
  80. Cruelty and Civilization: The Roman Games - Roland Auguet (History)
  81. Nova Scotia Shaped By The Sea - Lesley Choyce (History)
  82. Ancient Cities - Charles Gates (History, Archaeology)
  83. Getting In TTouch With Your Horse - Linda Tellington-Jones (Animals)
  84. Greek Art and Archaeology - John Griffiths Pedley (History, Archaeology, Art)
  85. Roman Art - Nancy H. Ramage and Andrew Ramage (History, Art, Archaeology)
  86. Fighting For The Cross - Norman Housley (History)
  87. The Middle Ages: Everyday Life In Medieval Europe - Jeffrey L. Singman (History)
  88. A Medieval Miscelany - Judith Herrin (History)
  89. Gothic Art: Glorious Visions - Michael Camille (History, Art)
  90. Early Medieval Art - Lawrence Nees (History, Art)
  91. Great Harry's Navy - Geoffrey Moorhouse (History)
  92. Ghost On The Throne - James Romm (History)
  93. Blueprint Crochet Sweaters - Robyn Chachula (Crochet)

Unread Books - Tolkien 2016

After the past several years of running a mixed Unread Books list on my blog, last year I broke it down into categories. I'm doing the same thing this year, albeit a bit later in the year. Maybe it'll make it easier to keep the lists updated - and to find the books once I've read them. The plan is to have a fiction list, a primary sources list, a Tolkien list and a non-fiction list. Who knows, breaking the list up might even make it less intimidating!

I'm a Tolkien collector - see the various Tolkien lists I have on my blog (here, here and here), but I've ended up buying the books faster than I can read them. There are unreviewed books on those lists that I have read, although they were read before I started All Booked Up.

 Unread Books 2016 - Tolkien List:

  1. Hobbitus Ille - J.R.R. Tolkien - Fiction
  2. The Annotated Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien - Fiction
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Reader's Guide - Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull - Non Fiction
  4. The History Of The Hobbit: Mr. Baggins - John Rateliff - Non Fiction
  5. The History Of The Hobbit: Return To Bag-End - John Rateliff - Non Fiction
  6.  Tolkien: A Celebration - Joseph Pearce - Non Fiction
  7. The Battle For Middle-Earth - Bonnie Rutledge - Non Fiction
  8. The Ring Of Words - Jeremy H. Marshall - Non Fiction
  9. The Children of Hurin - J.R.R. Tolkien - Fiction
  10. On Faerie Stories - Ed. Verilyn Flieger - Non Fiction
  11. The Tolkien Legendarium - Ed. Carl Hostetter - Non Fiction
  12. Splintered Light: Logos And Language In Middle-Earth - Verilyn Flieger - Non Fiction
  13. Green Suns and Faerie - Verilyn Flieger - Non Fiction
  14. The Fall of Arthur - Ed. Christopher Tolkien - Poetry
  15. Beowulf - Ed. Christopher Tolkien - Fiction
  16. The Art of The Hobbit - Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull - Non Fiction
  17. Interrupted Music: The Making Of Middle-Earth - Verilyn Flieger - Non Fiction
  18. Master of Middle Earth - Paul Koch - Non Fiction
  19. A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings - Lin Carter - Non Fiction
  20. A Tolkien Compass - Jared Lobdel - Non Fiction
  21. J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century - Tom Shippey - Non Fiction
  22. The Gospel According To Tolkien - Ralph Woods - Non Fiction
  23. There And Back Again: J.R.R. Tolkien And The Origins of The Hobbit - Mark Atherton - Non Fiction
  24. Tolkien: A Celebration - Joseph Pearce - Non Fiction 
  25. The Story of Kullervo - Ed. Christopher Tolkien
  26. The Art of the Lord of the Rings - Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull - Non Fiction 
  27. Tolkien - Raymond Edwards - Non Fiction

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Two Very Different Forms of Light

After beginning to feel as though two of my favorite older photos had been lost over the years, I had a stroke of luck this afternoon in finding them again, on my computer.

The first was taken with my current camera, and was one of two good shots of lightning I managed to capture during a storm in 2009. I'll admit that it was mostly luck. There was so much lightning and thunder going on that I was able to aim the camera at one point and just keep shooting. About five hundred photos later, I had two good photos. I've never been in a storm like it since.

The second was the light at the top of the driveway at the house I grew up in. Taken during a winter storm. I remember a couple of my friends saying the photo reminded them of some of the scenes from the Narnia movies.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Margaret Gwynne's Fruit Cobbler

I'm posting this recipe in honor of my great aunt whose life we just celebrated. She lived a good, long life to the age of 95 years.

Margaret Gwynne's Fruit Pudding/Cake

This was a very frequent star at the dinner table when I grew up. It's very simple to make, and flexible, based on the fruit you have around, although I've never tried making it with berries. In my family it was always apples, plums or apricots, though I've started making it with peaches and that works out wonderfully too.

This was always cooked in a smaller oven-proof dish. If my memory serves, it was usually about a 6x8 inch rectangle or similar dimensions oval oven-proof pan.

Ingredients (topping):
2 tbsp butter or margarine
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
¾ cup flour
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and beat well, then pour into the oven-proof dish over a layer of plums, apples, peaches or apricots or any combination of the four fruits.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve on it's own, with a bit of milk or ice cream.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Green Point Sunsets

Last week my husband and I spent some time camping at Green Point in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. He'd told me the scenery was going to be spectacular, and it was! Especially the sunsets - here are a couple of representative photos, linked over from my DeviantArt account.

Tofino Sunset 2 by Endaewen on DeviantArt

Tofino Sunset by Endaewen on DeviantArt

Camping at Green Point was a new experience for me. I'm more used to the Provincial campgrounds and the standards set there: don't leave your coolers out, any other forms of food, toiletries, soaps and the like, but your water jug, stove etc. are all fine to stay out for the duration of your trip.

At Green Point on the other hand, they run a bare campsite policy, and when they say bare, they mean bare. Your camp furniture is allowed (chairs, lanterns and tent), but nothing else. Everything else such as your water jug has to be stored in a hard-sided vehicle or trailer.

On the plus side of things, the vehicle-accessible campsites at Green Point are all powered - makes charging your phone etc a breeze - not to mention your laptop or camera batteries. I took mine so I could clear off my camera card at need, and I filled it on the first three days of the trip, and went through four camera batteries in about the same time.

On the other hand, both the Green Point Campground and Tofino have terrible data reception, although it seems as though it's actually better at Green Point. If you really need to check your e-mail though, in Tofino is a wonderful little coffee-shop called Tuff Beans. I highly recommend stopping in there for a hot chocolate to go with your WiFi. For Fish and Chips, try Big Daddy's Fish Fry, just down the road.

Also a plus: two individual camp cots with "nightstands" (detachable pockets on one side for glasses etc). With the addition of an inflatable mattress-pad and a foam pad, they made for the most comfortable camping nights I've had yet. And the "nightstands" turned out to be even more of a blessing than I thought.

Our tent leaked. Tofino gets an average of 202 rainy days a year, so we had plenty of chances to discover this fact. Tarping the tent fixed some of the problems, but I still found myself with a pool of water under the foam pad in my cot. Which is why I said the "nightstands" were a blessing. I was able to keep all electronics, as well as my books off the ground and away from the damp.

Even with all of that, I recommend camping at Green Point highly. We weren't lucky enough to see or hear any, but the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is home to wolves, bears and cougar.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Medieval Total War - Take Two

Medieval Total War Gold EditionA couple of months ago I wrote up a post on the Total War game series. In it, I commented on my desire to see if the original Medieval Total War game from ca. 2002 would play on my current Windows 7 machine. I've since gone through with that desire and had several hours of fun.

The process of getting the game and the computer to work together was less straightforward than I'd hoped though. First of all, the Medieval Total War game and the Viking Invasion expansion were separate. In fact, at some point over a couple of moves, the Viking Invasion game cd disappeared on me.

So, I decided to simply insert the Medieval Total War game cd and cross my fingers - figuring the game was playable on its own - even though if my memory isn't playing tricks, the Viking Invasion expansion fixed a few major and not so major bugs.

No joy. I'd click "install Medieval Total War" and nothing. So, I went hunting to see if anyone else had an answer, and found several. First of all, most of the people installing the game successfully were installing the Medieval Total War Gold edition, and not the original one, and one solution described was to copy the disc onto the computer first. Didn't work for me - mine is on two cd-roms. So, lets hunt further. If the price is right I'm not going to object to rebuying the game if that's what it takes. Besides, that way I can get the Viking Invasion campaigns again.

Bingo! Turns out that the gold version of the game is available through Steam - and for only $11.00. That install worked - on both computers, and from what I can see, it will also work on Windows 10.

However, that wasn't the end of my initial troubles - some of which were that I'd forgotten some of the game-play tricks and methods (solved by digging out the manual for the game). Others though were not. After the first couple of hours of play - when I'd begin to try and attack other factions, the game began to crash - always on that first turn when I'd triggered an attack.

There is a solution to that problem though - at least so far. First of all, go into the game options and adjust the game resolution up to match that of your screen. That may be enough to fix it. Also, I read that turning off the tool-tips and computer movement visibility from the options on the upper left corner of the game screen will fix some crashes. That one didn't work for me on it's own. However, adjusting the screen resolution did for me. Almost 10 hours later on both computers and no problems.

I have to say, for the age of the game, the graphics and game play are still really good. I'm definitely enjoying the trip down memory lane - amazing how well the music and sound-effects have stuck in my head.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Ammonite Falls Adventure

Yesterday was a real adventure! More that I was expecting for sure. The plan was a nice family hike - under 10k long, with a couple of steep sections with ropes (or so we were warned) - and a picnic lunch at the falls. It all sounds great, then you realize that the day was one of the hottest so far this year - the truck thermometer was saying 33 degrees Celsius when we were on our way back from the park. Thankfully, most of the trail was well shaded - and we all brought plenty to drink as well as sunscreen.

Everything started out smoothly enough, except that all the hills were down on the outbound leg. Everyone knows what that means when you're returning along the same trail. Moderately easy, though I wasn't looking forward to coming back. I slow down a lot on uphill legs of a walk or hike.

Then we came to the first of the steep sections. Silly me. I'd envisioned something like big stairs with a rope acting as a railing. Nothing close at all. And the first of them was something that you could in theory pass through without needing the rope. I didn't try. I used the rope all the way down - wasn't going to be taking a chance. It was the next segment, to the bottom of the falls that was the real adventure though!

Ammonite Falls Trail.
I've never done something like this before, and I wasn't too sure how to go about it this time, but got plenty of coaching from the Ammonite Falls veterans in the group. It's pretty intimidating to go down a hill backwards so you can't really see where you're going, but that's really the only way to do it - and hang onto the rope good and tight!

The scenery at the bottom and the picnic lunch were worth it though. The falls were beautiful, and the pool looked like a wonderful swimming hole - I didn't do any swimming, but I'll admit to paddling my feet and sitting on the edge. The rocks though were pretty slippery, so I didn't keep that up for very long - and the water was pretty cold.
Ammonite Falls - the top section

Ammonite Falls - the bottom portion

If getting down the slope was fun, going back up the ropes was even more of a challenge! I'm just going to call it a full body workout and leave it at that - with the note that I'm paying for the hike today in stiff muscles.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Importance of Food and Drink in Fiction (A Very Pretentious Title)

This whole piece got started by an idle discussion between my husband and I about food in the Lord of the Rings. After that, I just started noticing all of the references to food, food preparation and meals in the books I was reading. It's not an exhaustive survey, just what I've noticed recently and some examples I remember reading in the past.

The Importance of Food and Drink in Fiction

Food and drink. The two are integral to every society I can think of or have read about in real life or in fiction. From a meeting in a coffee shop to a lavish feast being served up in front of the main characters, it can range from an elaborate background setting to something far more integral to the plot, or the characters.

The familiarity or strangeness of the foods being served or made by the characters can act as a barometer to the intended familiarity or strangeness of the worlds that the books are set in. A few examples might be the foods that the hobbits eat in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (apples, beer, bacon and mushrooms for example), meant to represent our own Europe in a distant past, or perhaps the foods from Pern (Klah, wherry, packtail, redfruit, tubers), the world created by Anne McCaffrey, an alien planet. Some authors have taken a middle ground, where some of the foods are our own, but perhaps some of the seasonings or drinks are unfamiliar – the direction taken by Elizabeth Moon in the Paksenarrion's World books (cheese, onions, stews, but also sib and asar).

Done well, the use of food in a novel can be a way of involving the reader's senses into the story through their own experiences and memories. To use one of Mercedes Lackey's books as an example, in Magic's Price there is a scene where the main character is enjoying a piece of bread fresh out of the oven with butter melting into it. Who doesn't know the taste and smell of that? Or the smell of a large pot of soup on the stove?

Some books use food and drink to illustrate elements of the characters personalities, as Mercedes Lackey did in The Fire Rose. Rosalind Hawkins' preference for unladylike sandwiches went along with her other unladylike interests in reading, history and languages, as well as her desire for a university education. Another Mercedes Lackey novel, By The Sword opens with the main character, Kerowyn, supervising the preparations for her brother's marriage feast. Really, her place should have been out participating in the feast itself though. However, for various reasons she's in the kitchen, which suggests in hind-sight that she's something of an outsider at the Keep – which is proven throughout the book. Then, going back to Tolkien and The Hobbit for another example, you have Beorn, the skin-changer, who could also take on the form of a great bear. He lived, according to Gandalf, mostly on cream and honey, which you might say reflected his other form as a bear.

Outside of restaurant scenes, how meal and food preparation is presented to us as the audience can also say a lot about the worlds the characters are inhabiting. If we only see perfectly done, finished meals presented to the characters, it suggests to me one of two things. Either they are upper-class with servants to do all the work, or else the world is a high-tech one a la Star Trek with its replicators to do most of the day-to-day cooking. It's not only how the foods are presented, but also the ingredients used, however – venison, hare, rabbit, onions etc all say to me “good, solid, homey food”. On the other hand, eels and other exotic dishes are more likely to suggest that the meals are designed to be impressive, and often expensive.

Eating and drinking is also very much a social thing to do. Especially when it comes to historical fiction and fantasy, though it's still very prevalent in more modern settings. How often do you see the characters agreeing to meet up for a drink? These days it would be a coffee and a muffin. In historical fiction it's more likely to be wine or scotch (for men) and tea and biscuits for women. One of the biggest set-pieces as well is the great feast, with all of it's attendant preparations and rituals. This is one that you see most often in the historical fiction and fantasy realms – either from the preparation side as in By The Sword, or from the perspective of one of the diners – think of some of the feasts in Diana Gabaldon's books for example.

Continuing with a further look into the third book of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, nearly every time characters are meeting socially there is food involved: Ginger biscuits in one of the 1960's scenes. Sherry or port for the men in the 18th century scenes – or, hare pie or a savory in the same time period in Scotland. Diana Gabaldon is an author who isn't going to shy away from the kitchen and food preparations in her books, and it adds so much richness to her writings.

Broadening out, food, or the lack of may well be a plot-point in and of itself. In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, the prevalence or scarcity of food is one of the keys to the characters' emotional states. The less food they have, the more irritable and angry they get – and several times, they run out of food entirely, or believe they are about to, adding more tension to the story. Similarly in the early books of the Change series by S. M. Stirling (Dies The Fire and The Protector's War) we see the lengths that the characters will or will not go to to get food due to the sudden scarcity thanks to the Change, and the meals are certainly more than a background setting. Another example of the lengths that characters will go to in order to get food is in Suzanne Collins Hunger Games trilogy where teenagers are willing to increase their chances at being drawn for Tribute in order to get food for themselves and their families. Not to mention what they're willing to consider food!

Similarly, we see the cycle of the year shown through the foods and quantities of foods available as the seasons change in S. M. Stirling's books, and more subtly in the Outlander books. From seasonal feasts to scarcity, it's all there and it has an effect on the characters lives and actions. I know that after reading the early Change books, I have a greater appreciation for the humble backyard vegetable garden and it's potential.

A Feast Of Ice And Fire: The Official Game Of Thrones Companion CookbookAnd now, there's an interesting twist on the food in novels/TV-series that's growing: the novel-themed cookbook. I only know of a few so far, but they're definitely interesting. The first one I saw came out around 2012, for the Game of Thrones TV series, called A Feast Of Ice And Fire: The Official Game Of Thrones Companion Cookbook. It has it's own unique twist, in that the authors took known medieval recipes and modernized them. The Hunger Games has also inspired a few cookbooks, although I'm not sure just how inspiring some of what the characters are known to have been eating was.

The Outlander Kitchen CookbookThe one that I want to read and test the most though is the Outlander Kitchen cookbook. Due out this summer, it looks like a good one, based on the blog of the same name. Diana Gabaldon has included many a dish both humble and extravagant, old and modern through her series of books, and the author of the Outlander Kitchen started a blog inspired by the recipes, which has since turned into a book. However, as far as I can tell, the blog is still being updated as well, and what's more, all of the recipes I've seen there look absolutely delicious!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Tolkien's Annotated Map of Middle-Earth

I've seen a couple of articles this morning about the map of Middle-Earth that J.R.R. Tolkien annotated, including this one over at IO9. It's definitely neat, but I really hope that someday soon there will be a large-scale print version (preferably with notes) made available to those of us who can't go to see the original.

The largest size image I've found so far online is this one. It's good, but I can't read any of the annotations in the image. Part of that, I will admit is because the writing is a challenge in itself. However, many of the notations are quite faint and small - even when zoomed in on the image.

The Tolkien Society article on the topic.
The Bodleian Library article on their acquisition of the map.

The Tolkien Collection, 2016 Version

Back in 2011, Anassa gave me the idea to take out my Tolkien books and stack them up on the table. Made for a rather impressive pile too. The table then seated four. Now, it takes one side of a snooker table to display the collection. The last few years have been good ones for the Tolkien collector, with new books (not to mention new edition of his books) being released every year.

I did another list in 2013, which was the first time I used the snooker table to hold it, and now it's time for a new one.

To get the whole thing in one frame, I had to back away so far that none of the titles can be read easily in the photo. In general though, there's the entirety of the History of Middle-Earth series stacked to the far left of the photo followed by the newer books of Tolkien's poetry. Above those we have the audio books, two Hobbit Blu-rays, Mr. Bliss, the Art of The Hobbit and The Art of the Lord of the Rings (two absolutely gorgeous books). Next to that is most of the mass-market sized Tolkien books and then the Black boxed set and the white set (still in it's shrink-wrap). Just to one side of the middle of the stack are my Verlyn Flieger books on Tolkien, the Lord of the Rings movies, some art books, and the final item in the display is the J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide two book set.

The books:
  1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    One volume edition, illustrated by Alan Lee. (Middle of the bottom row)
  2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    One volume, movie cover edition. (Horizontally in the middle of the stack beside the Alan Lee illustrated Lord of the Rings)
  3. The Lord of the Rings 50th Anniversary Box Set by J.R.R. Tolkien
    The white box set including the Lord of the Rings Readers Companion by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull. Still in the shrink wrap.
  4. The Lord of the Rings box set by J.R.R. Tolkien
    The black box set. (above the white set)
  5. The Lord of the Rings
    The BBC Radio Play edition adapted by Brian Sibley. Each of the major characters is done by a different actor, including Ian Holm (Frodo), Peter Woodthorpe (Gollum) and Michael Horden (Gandalf). (About the only thing not pictured. I realized too late that it's upstairs)
  6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  7. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
  10. The Annotated Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Annotated by Douglas A. Anderson
    Lovely design with two columns: one for the text and the other for notes, including excerpts from letters, possible inspirations etc. I'm a bit ashamed to admit I have yet to fully read this edition, but it's so full of information that it really is a must have.
  11. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Illustrated by Alan Lee
  12. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Mass market edition.
  13. The Hobbit Graphic Novel
  14. Roverandom by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Black edition.
  15. Roverandom by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Illustrated Hardcover edition, with the illustrations being by J.R.R. Tolkien too. Library discard.
  16. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Hardcover, with illustrations from the Rankin-Bass animated movie. The first edition of The Hobbit that I ever read. A bit awkwardly sized, but has a lot of sentimental value.
  17. The Hobbit
    BBC Radio Play edition
  18. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Hardcover, illustrated by Ted Naismith
  19. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
  20. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Library discard hardcover
  21. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir Orfeo translated by J.R.R. Tolkien
    My favourite translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Tolkien seems to have kept the meter and rhyme scheme very well.
  22. Tales from The Perilous Realm b J.R.R. Tolkien
    Made up of Leaf by Niggle, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Farmer Giles of Ham and Smith of Wootton Major. Illustrated by Alan Lee
  23. On Fairy Stories by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson. Included commentary and notes
  24. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil edited by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond. Illustrated by Pauline Baynes
  25. Tree and Leaf by J.R.R. Tolkien
  26. Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.
  27. The Tolkien Reader by J.R.R. Tolkien
  28. The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Edited by Christopher Tolkien
  29. The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Audiobook read by Christopher Lee.
  30. Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Edited by Christopher Tolkien
  31.  The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Edited by Christopher Tolkien 
  32. Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Edited by Christopher Tolkien.
  33. The Story of Kullervo by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Edited by Christopher Tolkien
  34. Tales from the Perilous Realm
    BBC Radio Play edition.
  35. Mr. Bliss by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Lovely slip-cased facsimile edition.
  36. The Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien
  37. Smith of Wootton Major by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Edited by Verlyn Flieger
  38. Finn and Hengist by J.R.R. Tolkien
  39. The Ancrene Wisse edited by J.R.R. Tolkien
    One expensive book! In some form of Middle English, I think with some latin mixed in. I can't read it at all. Early English Text Society edition.
  40. Bilbo's Last Song by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Illustrated by Pauline Baynes
  41. The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays by J.R.R. Tolkien
  42. The Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
    Same cover style as the Black box set of the Lord of the Rings.
  43. The Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
  44. The Book of Lost Tales One by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
  45. The Book of Lost Tales Two by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
  46. The Lays of Beleriand by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
  47. The Shaping of Middle Earth by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
  48. The Lost Road by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
  49. The Return of the Shadow by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
    The first book covering the draft versions of The Lord of the Rings. Also, the first book in the History Of Middle Earth series that I ever read.
  50. The Treason of Isengard by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
    The second book about the Lord of the Rings
  51. The War of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
    The third book in the set about the Lord of the Rings.
  52. Sauron Defeated by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
    Only part of the book covers the end of the documents about the Lord of the Rings. The rest holds one of my other favourite unfinished stories by Tolkien though: The Notion Club Papers. I think this copy also has some holes punched in the pages  (from the metal bookmark I stopped using as soon as I discovered it was doing that).
  53. Morgoth's Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
  54. The War of the Jewels by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
  55. Peoples of Middle Earth by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien
    Only one of the History of Middle-Earth books I have in hardcover.
  56. A Middle English Reader and Vocabulary by Kenneth Sisam and J.R.R. Tolkien
    IIRC, Kenneth Sisam was one of Tolkien's tutors.
  57. The Tolkien Family Album by John and Priscilla Tolkien
  58. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien edited by Humphrey Carpenter
    Hardcover edition
  59. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien edited by Humphrey Carpenter
    With the improved index.
  60. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter
    This is the gold standard biography I believe.
  61. The Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter
  62. Tolkien by Raymond Edwards
  63. The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull
    Slip-cased set of two volumes: the Chronology and the Reader's Guide. Another jaw-dropper of a set, and one I consider to be a must-have.
  64. The Lord of the Rings Reader's Companion by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull
  65. The Art Of The Hobbit by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.
    The artwork that J.R.R. Tolkien did for The Hobbit, both during the drafts and for publication gathered together in one place. Beautifully done in a lovely slipcase.
  66. The Art of the Lord of the Rings by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull. 
    Follows the same format as the Art of the Hobbit. Absolutely spectacular!
  67. J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist And Illustrator by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull
    About Tolkien's own artwork over the years from his childhood on. Stunning, and has insights into Tolkien and his writings as well.
  68. The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth by Robert Foster
  69. The Complete Guide To Middle Earth by Robert Foster
    Dates from university where I was keeping a copy handy for between class editing of my website.
  70. Tolkien and the Great War by John Garth
  71. A Question of Time: Tolkien's Road To Faerie by Verlyn Flieger
  72. Interrupted Music: The Making of Middle-Earth by Verlyn Flieger
  73. Splintered Light: Langage and Logos by Verlyn Flieger
  74. Green Suns And Faerie by Verlyn Flieger. 
  75. Meditations on Middle-Earth edited by Karen Haber
    Illustrated by John Howe. A number of authors writing on how Middle-Earth and J.R.R. Tolkien influenced them.
  76. Master of Middle Earth by Paul Koch
  77. A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings by Lin Carter
  78. A Tolkien Compass by Jared Lobdel
  79. Tolkien's Legendarium Essays on The History of Middle-earth (Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy) edited by Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter
    Essays that focus on the History of Middle Earth series. Another expensive book (especially for its size).
  80. The History of The Hobbit: Mr. Baggins by John D. Ratelliff
  81. The History of The Hobbit: Return to Bag-End by John D. Rateliff
  82. The Journeys of Frodo by Barbara Stratchey
    Maps and distances focused on the descriptions given in The Lord of the Rings. Rather a neat book to have, if an awkward size.
  83. Atlas of Middle-Earth by Karen Wynn Fonstaad
  84. Understanding The Lord of the Rings by William Ready
  85. Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary by Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall and Edmun Weiner
  86. The Road Goes Ever On: A Song Cycle: Music By Donald Swann and Poems by J.R.R. Tolkien
    This is one that I`d really like to hear some day. I can`t read music, so I don`t fully appreciate the book at all.
  87. J.R.R. Tolkien: The Man Who Created The Lord of the Rings by Michael Coren
  88. Understanding The Lord Of The Rings: The Best Of Tolkien Criticism Edited by Rose A. Zimbardo and Neil D. Isaacs
  89. J.R.R. Tolkien by Robley Evans
    To be honest I cringe at this book - the errors are glaring.
  90. Tolkien: A Celebration edited by Joseph Pearce
  91. The Battle For Middle-Earth: Tolkien`s Divine Design in The Lord of the Rings by Fleming Rutledge
  92. Middle-Earth: Visions of A Modern Myth by Donato Giancola
    A book of art about Middle-Earth.
  93. The Road To Middle Earth by Tom Shippey
  94. J.R.R. Tolkien: Author Of The Century by Tom Shippey
  95. The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition DVD
  96. The Two Towers Extended Edition DVD
  97. The Return of the King Extended Edition DVD
  98. The Lord of the Rings DVD
    The animated Bashki edition. Interestingly, Peter Woodthorpe does Gollum here too.
  99. J.E.A. Tyler`s Tolkien book
    Not pictured, in storage
  100. Tolkien`s Ring by David Day
    Illustrated by Alan Lee - the most redeeming feature of the book
  101. The Tolkien Encyclopedia by David Day
  102. A-Z of Tolkien by David Day
  103. The Gospel According To Tolkien by Ralph Woods.
  104. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    Peter Jackson's first movie in his Hobbit trilogy. Blu-Ray format.
  105. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
    Peter Jackson's second movie in the Hobbit Trilogy. Also in Blu-Ray.
  106. J.R.R. Tolkien: The Origin of the Rings
    DVD. A waste of a hour it's that bad. Not pictured as I can't find it. I might have sold it on.
Close-ups of the collection:
The left-most portion of my Tolkien collection

The center portion of the collection

The right end of the collection

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Two New Books on Indexing

There are two new book on indexing coming out in June.

The first is:
Ten Characteristics of Quality Indexes: Confessions of an Award Winning IndexerTen Characteristics of Quality Indexes: Confessions of an Award Winning Indexer
Margie Towery

Release Date: June 14th, 2016

The product description:
The name "Margie Towery" is synonymous with index quality, and in this guide the master indexer distills more than two decades of experience for the benefit of her fellow indexers. Towery defines and explores the characteristics of quality indexes: audiences and accessibility, metatopics and index structure, accuracy, comprehensiveness, conciseness, consistency, clarity, reflexivity, readability, and common sense.

Writing in an engaging and accessible style, she shares her own struggles in indexing and offers strategies for overcoming challenges such as bias and language, indexing blocks, and working with authors. Her digressions into research on reading and decision-making provide a wider context for thinking about quality, while her suggestions and checklist for evaluating indexes round out this essential volume for professional indexers at every skill level.
This is a book I really want to add to my library. As a professional indexer, albeit a newer one, I find that each time I read a book on indexing, I learn something new - a different way of looking at such finicky debates such as using undifferentiated locators or not, or workflow tricks to speed up the process.

The second book is another one that I really want to add to my library:
Indexing Tactics and Tidbits: An A-Z Guide - Janet PerlmanIndexing Tactics & Tidbits: An A-Z Guide
Janet Perlman
Release Date: June 2016

The product description:
In this highly-recommended reference for indexing professionals, master indexer Janet Perlman presents a treasure trove of practical, in-depth explanations and advice. The author pays homage to the Hans Wellisch classic, Indexing from A to Z, while bringing her own in-depth, conversational style and a multitude of fresh topics to the table.

Indexing Tactics & Tidbits provides answers and insights on such vital subjects as audience analysis, clients and contracts, computers and software, ethics and standards, index depth and length, index structure, periodical indexing, professional resources, quality and usability, work methods and strategies, and much more.

New and experienced indexers alike will appreciate this significant effort to address "everything you always wanted to know about indexing but were afraid to ask" by one of the preeminent indexers of our time.
This should be an interesting read. I have and have read the Hans Wellisch book, Indexing From A To Z, and although it's older, it's still a very useful reference as I noted in my review. Just looking at the list in the blurb makes me want to go out and order this right away.

I should note one bit of confusion. The publisher's website says that the release date for this is in June. According to, the book is already available for order, and has been since the end of March. I also note that some indexers have commented about having already received their copies, so it might be shipping out already.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Almost Two Months Of Spinning

I think I've set a new personal record with my spinning between March 8th and April 30th.
The dates were those for the most recent spin-along hosted on Ravelry by Mirkwood Spindles (my current favorite support spindles).

One of the neatest things about this spin-along for me: Two of the three spindles I was using were Middle-Earth themed, and most of the fiber was as well. The grey was from the previous spin-along and themed for Ungoliant, while the darker fiber is called I Am Death and was inspired by Smaug from The Hobbit.

Anyway, I ended up totalling 747 yards of chain-plied yarn that ranges between lace and sock weight.

My wrists are just happy that there's just over a week before the next spin-along starts! They need a break!


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