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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Creative Outlets I Enjoy

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

 

Writing. This spring I’ve been spending more time doing this. Thank goodness for renewed interest in writing and a sharp reduction in my writer’s block! There’s nothing like seeing your characters and worlds come alive. I’ll let you all know when I have a publication date for my next speculative fiction book.

Person dancing in a field at dusk
This isn’t me, but this is something I’d do.

Snapping Photographs. 2020 wasn’t a great year for finding interesting things to photograph due to what we all experienced during it that I won’t go into any detail about here, but I’m hoping 2021 will provide more opportunities to capture beautiful moments. Maybe it will even be possible to photograph other places in the world in 2022.

Dancing. Thank goodness for all of the instructional videos online. I love learning new moves and styles of dance. They make me feel so free and happy.

Anthropomorphizing Everything.  I regularly say hello to the animals who live in my neighbourhood whether they are domesticated or wild creatures. I’ve hugged trees once or twice and am not afraid to call a building beautiful out loud if it thrills me. These things bring joy to the world, so why not bring attention to them? In my opinion, we should all appreciate harmless things that lift our spirits and give us hope.

Top Ten Tuesday: Colourful Book Covers

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Multicolored paint dripping down a white backgroundI narrowed this week’s prompt down a little bit. The original theme was so broad that I wasn’t sure where to begin.

You could interpret it to be about rainbow covers, or brightly-coloured covers, or books that include as many different colours in them as possible.

Honestly, even those interpretations are only barely scratching the surface of possibilities!

Therefore, my amended response to the prompt is of colourful book covers that are also artistic and beautiful.

 

Half-Blood (Covenant, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout book cover. Image on cover is of a glowing purple flower.

1. Half-Blood (Covenant, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Swift (Swift, #1) by R.J. Anderson book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of a blue fairy flying.

2. Swift (Swift, #1) by R.J. Anderson

Haunting Grace (Beyond Time, #1) by Elizabeth Marshall book cover. Image on cover is of fire in the shape of heart. A small piece of the flame is also shaped like a butterfly.

3. Haunting Grace (Beyond Time, #1) by Elizabeth Marshall

The Crowfield Curse (Crowfield Abbey, #1) by Pat Walsh book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of a child running through a snowy winter woods towards a castle in the distance.

4. The Crowfield Curse (Crowfield Abbey, #1) by Pat Walsh

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) by Rachel Hartman book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of a green dragon flying over a medieval city at night.

5. Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) by Rachel Hartman

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan book cover. Image on cover is of a woman in yellow dress and holding a red rose floating above fields and mountains.

6. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen book cover. Image on cover shows a drawing of a gold boat holding a baby floating on a body of water.

7. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer book cover. Image on cover is of a large full moon looming over a house at the edge of a lake at night.

8. Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Who Fears Death (Who Fears Death, #1) by Nnedi Okorafor book cover. Image on cover shows a woman wearing dreadlocks and walking in the desert. There is a pair of wings superimposed on her body.

9. Who Fears Death (Who Fears Death, #1) by Nnedi Okorafor

The Seahawk's Sanctuary by Lynne Marie book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of a ship sailing near the shore.

10. The Seahawk’s Sanctuary by Lynne Marie

The Last Minute Decision: A Review of Clocking Time

Clocking Time A Time Travel Short Story by Mark McClure book cover. Image on cover is a stylized drawing of planets and outer space. Title: Clocking Time

Author: Mark McClure 

Publisher: JFR Publishers 

Publication Date: October 31, 2020

Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult 

Length: 31 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb:

Two teenagers share a secret superpower: clock jumping.

Confined to his house by the authorities, remote viewer Briann enters into the life and times of a Japanese girl, Nina.

But as Briann’s feelings for Nina grow, he must overcome his fear of this unpredictable power and make one final jump before his time runs out forever.

A time travel short story about first love and tough choices.

Review:

Special powers were meant to be used, right? 

Briann and Nina’s growing relationship made me smile. I’m not generally someone who gravitates towards romantic science fiction plots, but these two made a great couple. I liked the fact that they’d already decided they wanted to be together by the time I met them. That was a refreshing take on the romance angle of it all! They also understood each other in ways that most other people did not, and their unfailing support of one another made me hope they’d get their happy ending. 

There were times when I found the world building a little confusing, especially when it came to Briann’s society. Everything people did there was tightly controlled, from what they ate to who they socialized with, to what forms of entertainment they used. I was intrigued by the many rules that had been created about how lower-class families like his were allowed to behave and wished the plot had gone into greater detail about that. If this portion of the storyline had been written as tightly as the rest of it, I would have felt comfortable giving it the full five star rating. 

Briann and Nina’s abilities themselves were explained well. The first scene went into plenty of detail about the precise steps they took to travel to see each other. It even went so far as to describe the breathing pattern Briann adopted just before the jump happened. This isn’t something that’s always explained well in some time travel stories, so it makes me happy when authors do get specific about how it all works. 

Anyone who loves time travel tales should check out Clocking Time.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: If I Won a Large Lottery Jackpot, I Would….

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

This is going to be an eclectic list.

Get All of My Dental Work Done at Once. It’s non-urgent and is being done slowly and as necessary. If I had a windfall of cash, I’d bite the bullet (metaphorically speaking) and get everything checked off the to-do list as soon as possible.

Woman holding a gift wrapped in gold paper and a gold ribbon Buy Ethical, Local, and Eco-Friendly Stuff. I’d buy as much food, clothing, shoes, electronics, and other various household items from local merchants and farmers as is possible here in southern Ontario.   Buying local can be more ecologically friendly in general, so I’d keep an eye out for businesses that were cognizant of that as well. There’s something to be said for supporting small businesses and your local economy if you have the extra money to do so.

Donate Anonymously. For example, homeless shelters and food banks have always needed donations, and the demand for their services is sadly higher than ever. They should focus on the fact that they suddenly had more resources to help people going through tough times and not worry about giving me credit for anything. I’m too bashful to pose for photo-ops. LOL!

Hire A Housekeeper. I would pay them handsomely to come over for a couple of days a week to clean, shop for groceries, and do laundry. It would be wonderful to have the time I currently invest in that stuff freed up for other pursuits, although I do feel a little selfish to even mention this. It would be such a big splurge.

Buy an Annual Membership to My Local Art Museum. I used to go there occasionally before this darn pandemic began. I’d love to have the freedom to go as often as I pleased and during quiet times of the day when there aren’t any lines to see any of the paintings.

Treat My Family to a Vacation. That is to say, I’d take my spouse, parents, siblings, nephews, and sister-in-law on whatever sort of trip everyone agreed upon. I’d pay all expenses and try to convince them to accept some spending cash, too. Money is only as good as the memories it makes and the joy it brings to others.