Scottish Clans & Their Tartans

The first place I stayed in Scotland was tucked back on a side street near Arthur’s Seat. My hostess was a kind woman who welcomed me into her home and showed me to my spacious room. I think it may have been my favorite out of all the places I stayed, but I had a favorite thing about each place. It was nice to have a room with a sitting area to myself where I could read or watch TV before bed if I felt like it.

In this room, near the fireplace, was a table filled with all kinds of goodies. Tea, hot chocolate, biscuits (probably not the kind you’re thinking if you are used to the sort from the American south), and a stack of books. One of the books caught my eye and I flipped through it a few times during my stay — The Scottish Clans & Their Tartans.

Six months later I was roaming the aisles of An Affair of the Heart with my mom and we made our way through one of our favorite antique booths. We both like antiques, her more than me, but I enjoy looking. In the past, any time someone asked me what I collected, I used to say “teapots” but that never caught on and it’s some trouble to store and display them in my tiny house. All the while I was collecting old books without much thought. A tiny book caught my eye as we looked through the old glassware and tea towels.

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It was a different edition, much older than the one in my room in Edinburgh, and I was thrilled to find it. It’s in pretty poor condition, but I was happy to pay $7.50 for it. I didn’t flip through it until a few days ago and it was fun to find some old ads for Edinburgh businesses in the back.

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I loved finding a little piece of my trip back here at home. I’ll give it a place of honor on one of my shelves, next to my growing collection of antique books.

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A Year of Reading, Writing, and a Challenge

2014 was a year of reading for me. I read more than I have in a long time.completed-6b630d7e0aec7a2dd83b309f0257d8ef That’s something I could tell you even if I didn’t have the stats in front of me because this was the year of A Song of Ice and Fire for me and once you commit to that, you’re sure to end up with a few thousand pages under your belt. The first book was originally published in 1996 and you know I’m bad at math (seriously, I just counted to 18 on my fingers and then typed 16), but that’s nearly 20 years that it took me to get around to the series. I even remember one of the other Lunchtime Readers going through the series while I sat on a bench outside my high school’s gymnasium working my way through the journals of Sylvia Plath and other depressing titles.

This past year I committed to reading more and it turns out when actually put a little effort in (opting for an hour of reading instead of an hour of TV) there’s a lot you can accomplish. In 2014 I read 14,561 pages, which knocks 1997 out of the first place position (I think I have every book I’ve ever read entered on Goodreads now and this is one area where my memory has come in very handy). Maybe 2015 will be even better. All I know is I’m happy when I’m reading (and writing — that was the other thing that kept me away from blogging in 2014. I wrote 25k words in the writing competition — that’s still going on — and a few thousand more on other projects and work. Also, I love Scrivener.)

So 2014 was wordy. Like the first few paragraphs of this post. What I’m trying to get around to is the main topic and that’s the fact that I have some cleaning to do on my Kindle. I saw Andi tweet about this challenge earlier today and thought it sounded like a great thing to get into. Goodness knows I have a lot of of titles I bought on a whim because they were $1.99 one day a few years ago.

Clean Your Reader

Kerry asked us to answer a few questions before we get started.

What’s your e-reader of choice?

Kindle Fire HDX. My bathtub reader is my 1st or 2nd gen Kindle Paperwhite, which I believe is now the Keyboard?

What e-books or e-book deals are you incapable of saying no to?

Something popular that I’ve been meaning to read or have heard good things about. I tend to read what I want and it’s very difficult to take a recommendation from someone I don’t totally trust as a reader (eep, that’s snobby, I know, but I’m being honest) so for me to jump on a bandwagon it has to be pretty stinking cheap.

How many e-books are you going to try to tackle in January?

Four or five. Anymore than that is pushing it because I’m going to have some writing deadlines popping up soon.

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Birthday Week List!

It’s been a great week. Shoot, it’s been a great month. November is my favorite month, not only because my birthday falls right in the middle, but also because the weather begins to change. The leaves on the trees around my house are finally changing. The one across the street is a bright red and I know that once it starts to go, the tree in my front yard will follow a few days later. I’ve lived here almost ten years and you start to notice those sorts of things. Why though? I want to know.

  • I received a wonderful (for the most part) Stitch Fix. I might freeze, but the I’m-not-sure-if-it’s-black-or-navy dress is going to be my 30th birthday outfit.
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  • Had our first book club in a while. That was actually at the end of October, but it was still great. We’re currently reading my pick, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.
  • I’ve been reading like crazy. I like it when I’m like this, devouring everything I can get my hands on. I’m almost through all the A Song of Ice and Fire books and I need to slow down with that. Basically one left and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to leave it alone very long. Lots of poems, a short story here and there. I love reading!

Continue reading

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