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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

leaps and bounds

Today I drove from my home to my inlaws’ home. Per Google Maps that’s a 33.7Km distance. A lot of that distance is highway where I had to learn to drive at 100Km/hr. You ┬ámight scoff and say that’s a piece of cake, but I will tell you it’s very hard to keep the car at 100! I was either 95 or 110! It was driving me CRAZY!

Thankfully there were very few cars on the highway while I was driving, this made me feel much more relaxed as I tried to gage how to rest my foot on the gas pedal so that I could maintain the speed.

One thing I noticed was that my left elbow get VERY sore driving longer distances. I just couldn’t keep my arm at a comfortable angle and had to keep stretching it. Due to the fact that I have to have the car seat allllllll the way up in order to reach the pedals (shut up) my arms are bent at 90 degrees the entire time. I am too short to rest my arm on the window sill, so I think what I need to do it tilt the car seat back just a little bit so I can lean backwards. My back was also getting sore being so straight.

I know fretting about the seat placement is rather trivial but if I am not comfortable I am fussing over that and it makes my nerves a little more nerve-y because I just can’t find a comfortable position and pay attention to what I am doing.

The elbow pain was serious enough that I just wanted to pull over and fix the bloody seat, of course I didn’t. ­čśë

Either way, I did the 34km and I didn’t freak out and I made it through a tricky construction area and it was all good.

I need to remember to check my stupid side mirrors more. Especially the one on the right. I know that will come with more practice (or will I just forget about them completely like the rest of the world’s drivers seem to??) but I need to make sure I check them many many times since I will be tested on that when it comes.

Look out world, I honestly think this is the summer that I will get that blasted license!

In My Mailbox – The Hippity Hoppity Easter Edition!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

All my IMM posts can be found here!

The last 6 books from my Book Depository order arrived this week along with one review copy from Penguin Canada (that I was expecting). Because I am a huge dork and I like to wear things on my head, I am decked out in bunny ears and take you on an Easter egg hunt for the books. Hope you enjoy!

Bought from Book Depository:

For Review (Penguin Group Canada):

  • Eon – Alison Goodman

I wish you all a Happy Easter or Happy Passover and hope you all have a lovely long weekend like I do (4 days, woot!) That’s it for me and expecting books to show up at my ┬áhouse (unless I get a bunch of surprise review books that I am not expecting!)

As always – the links go to goodreads for your viewing pleasure. ­čśë

The Summer of Shambles (Ondine)

Ondine: The Summer of Shambles (Book 1)
by Ebony McKenna

This is a brilliantly witty story with a furry tail ending. One girl. One boy. One spell to be broken. Ondine de Groot is a normal fifteen-year-old who lives with her family in the European country of Brugel. She has a pet ferret called Shambles. But Shambles is no ordinary ferret…He’s Hamish McPhee, a boy cursed by a witch. A witch who happens to be related to Ondine. When Shambles turns back into Hamish temporarily, Ondine knows that she has to help him break the spell. He is the most gorgeous boy she has ever met and her one true love! He just can’t remain a ferret forever. Can he? (goodreads.com)

Ondine is a book that caught my eye a year or so ago. I saw it on a UK-based blog, not sure if it was Wondrous Reads or Dead Book Darling or some other random one that I can’t recall. I just know that something about the cover made me head over t I o the Book Depository and add this to my wish list. There was always something else that I just HAD to buy when I’d make a BD purchase so Ondine waited a good long while to be chosen by me. The day I made my decision to spend money I didn’t have on a BD order to cheer me up two weeks ago was the day she was chosen. I needed something that had whimsy and light. This was just the book I needed.

Things that struck  me about the book as I read it:

One, the story is set in current day time but it doesn’t feel like this at all. I found myself thinking I was reading a fantasy world when in fact the year probably isn’t that far off what it is now. The story has this great mix of fairy tale and present day and it explains the lack of tech gadgets in an amusing footnoted way. When present day would sneak back into the story it didn’t seem out of place at all. I loved this mixture of┬ácontemporary┬áand fantasy.

Two, knowing that Shambles is a person in ferret form right from the start was refreshing. Although I found it hard to remember that he was a person in ferret form for much of the story. I sort of wished he was just a charming, talking ferret. ­čÖé With knowing what Shambles/Hamish was you knew that wouldn’t be the focus of the story, so I was eager to find out just what exactly Ondine and Shambles were about to get themselves into.

Third, THIS is the way romance should work in a story. None of that crappy, cop-out instant-love with no chemistry or reason for it. I actually believed the connection between Ondine and Hamish and I was rooting for them by the end of the story. Their relationship (friendship to more) was sweet and believable and extremely charming. I might have accidentally “awww’d” out loud at one point.

Finally, I found this book to be exactly what I was looking for with the mood I was in. Fun, funny and a pretty good mystery was just my cup of tea. The sequel is out now I believe and I know it will be on my next Book Depository order no matter what.

(One thing that confuses me is that I don’t know whether or not to classify this book as YA or MG. It’s sort of a mixture of both, but there are some themes in the book that would make it a little more on the YA side. Not anything overly serious, but enough that as I was reading thinking “Oh, good little MG book!” I’d come across something and think “Hmm, but that might be a little more YA.” If you’re a parent of a middle-grader, I’d read this before and decide yourself. ;))

Ondine

  1. The Summer of Shambles
  2. The Autumn Palace

so, maybe i can do this?

In April 2004 I got my learner’s permit.

2004.

It’s been seven years since then and I have not yet taken my driving test.

Seven years.

I am embarrassed that it’s been this long. I honestly am. Thing is, I don’t know if I was actually ready to drive until now. I have been making a point to drive at least one leg of our trips the last two weeks. Today marked the first time in a long time that I sat behind that wheel the longest. I drove us to the church before Good Friday mass. When Shawn came to pick me up after at some friends’ home I made him get in the passenger seat and I drove us home, via the grocery store (and I parked!) and then the gas station (where I learned to fill up) and then home.

Earlier today I drove us home from the breakfast place Eggsquis. Those of you who know this place (between Chenoys and the Yellow shoe store) know what sort of crappy, tiny parking lot it has. I backed out of our spot and merged on to Taschereau and then drove us home.

I realize for many of you this seems like nothing. I guess it really is in the grand scheme of things but to me this is a huge thing right now. I did all of this without any┬átrepidation┬áor anxiety. It all felt comfortable and normal and I might have even had a brief moment where I thought “Hey, I LIKE driving!”

I am serious now about getting that real┬álicence┬áthis summer. Not even summer. When I go to renew my learner’s permit on May 2 I will make my driving test appointment. This could mean anywhere from mid-May until mid-June. I still need practice to feel really sure about what I am doing. I need to practice backing into a parking spot in a parking lot (apparently that is the new┬áparallel┬áparking), neither of which I have done since my driving lessons in 2004.

2004!!

I feel like a big ol’ loser for having taken this long to get over my nervousness and fear of driving. There has always been a reason and an excuse (not mutually exclusive) for not practicing. Shawn hasn’t been big on forcing me to drive either, but then again, I think he would have been had I seemed like I actually wanted to.

I think I would have done this last summer had I not been having such a difficult time with my eyes. I still have problems to this day, but they are becoming few and far between. I couldn’t see well enough to walk last summer, I didn’t want to practice driving! Those trips I drove us to the dog park in the spring last year were helpful, they helped me get over some of my fears. This spring I got the driving urge and I have been making sure to take each opportunity that I can.

This is the first time in the 7 years that I feel like I CAN drive. This is the first time in the 7 years that I feel like I WANT to drive and I think it’s the wanting to drive that has made the difference. I might have said I wanted to get that license back in 2004 but I don’t think I was ready yet.

My body is weird in that I can have an issue for years and then one day I’ll wake up and it’ll be gone. One day I woke up and said “I’m going to drive now” and I have been.

Even in reverse (which I am not entirely a fan of).

I will do that test and I will get my license and I will be a driver. At the ripe young age of 35.

Go, me!

 

Blackwatch

Blackwatch (Wintercraft, #2)
by Jenna Burtenshaw

Kate has escaped the clutches of the High Council and Silas has left Albion for the continent. But their lives are forever linked and as the veil weakens, causing Albion’s skilled to fear for everyone’s safety, Silas and Kate find themselves drawn together by the mysterious and corrupt Dalliah Grey. (goodreads.com)

Well, golly! I liked this book even more than Wintercraft. I have a serious love of Silas Dane and I am happy that this book had much more of him between the pages. (That sounds so wrong when I write it out though…)

Blackwatch had action and adventure and a lot of hiding from creepy soldier people. It had humour and sadness and engaging dialogue. There was just so much that was enjoyable in this book.

I will say that this second book felt much less like YA fantasy and more like High Fantasy, I think because a lot of it focused on Silas and he’s certainly not a teenager. I gobbled this book up so fast I wish it had been a little longer because I was completely stunned when it was over and I still needed more!

The one qualm I have about the story is that when the description of what Kate sees in the veil or about the veil itself happens I tend to phase out. I am not a big description-oriented person when I read. I like the dialogue. The description is so well, er, ┬ádescripted that my eyes would glaze over and I’d have to force myself to re-read certain paragraphs because I was missing things. This is a totally personal thing though, I have never been one for long descriptions. (Hi, Lord of the Rings? I’m talking to you. This is the reason I could never get through book 1!)

When I got to the final page in Blackwatch I exclaimed, “But March 2012 is SO BLOODY FAR AWAY!” If you read this I think you might have the same reaction. Make your decision wisely, my reading friends. Decide whether or not to rush out and get this book NOW because it just came out or wait a little longer in the year so your wait for book 3 isn’t as epic as mine will be.

I am under the impression that Jenna is still working on the third book. Luckily I think I have her convinced to hand deliver it to my house once she’s done. I think that’s how our conversation on twitter ended. I’m almost positive. ­čśë

Wintercraft

  1. Wintercraft
  2. Blackwatch
  3. Legacy