Filling in the Blanks ~ March 4, 2014

BlanksIn an attempt to breathe some new life into blogging, I’ve been thinking about ways I could mix things up. I need some things I could post on a regular basis that could be quick and fun. One thought that kept recurring was to post the answers to a weekly list of questions. This feature had several names before I settled on calling it Filling in the Blanks. These basic sentences will largely remain the same, but I may mix things up from time to time by adding new blanks. If there is something you’d like to know about me on a weekly basis, by all means let me know. I can’t make any promises, but I’m here to please. If you’d like to fill in your own blanks, feel free to do so. Now let’s fill in some blanks:

I’m reading Katherine by Anya Seton.

Because I sneaked in and loved The Headmaster’s Wife by Thomas Christopher Greene last week, I am still reading Katherine. I am enjoying it and am hoping to get it finished by the 11th for my book club.

I’m listening to The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and narrated by David Pittu.

I enjoyed David Pittu’s narration of The Marriage Plot so I was excited to see that he again was part of an audiobook nominated in the Audie’s Literary Fiction category. This will be my third year judging the category for Armchair Audies. It’s still early days in this 32 hour audiobook. I’ll have a more detailed update next week.

Music I am loving “Casper” by Russian Red, brought to my attention by 360 TUNE BOX. ¡Gracias!

I’m feverishly crafting Cumberbunnies.

My good friend Cassandra who introduced me to Sherlock is going to be in Roanoke on Friday and I MUST have her Cumberbunny ready for her when she arrives. We’ll be watching some Sherlock on our 80 inch projector screen. I’m not sure if it will compare to Mini Graceland, but we’ll give it a try anyway.

I’m thinking about gender bias in publishing.

As long as I’ve been blogging there has been talk about how unbalanced the publishing world is in favor of men. I’ve always believed that I picked what I was interested in reading without any real thought about the author’s gender. I follow my reading bliss, but this article in the New Statesman by Sophia McDougall opened my eyes. After reading this article I went to my local Barnes & Noble. Happily there wasn’t a huge disparity on the display shelves, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve missed out on some wonderful fiction that happened to be written by women simply because it wasn’t there in the first place. I haven’t come to any conclusions as to how this will impact me as a reader long term, but I will never not go to a book store without paying attention.

My weight loss journey is smoothing out.

I may not be 100% back into the swing of things, but I did lose 2.8 pounds last week. Yesterday I even woke up early and put in a 30 minute treadmill work out while I was in Richmond on business. I felt great and even ran for a few minutes. It felt great at the time. I just wish I didn’t get a burning pain in my knee afterward. I will bring that up with my doctor in April. I haven’t focused a lot on physical activity up until this point and I think that’s the key to the next phase of this journey. Thank you so much to everyone for your support last week. It meant a lot.

I’m loving my father-in-law.

I helped him clean out my mother-in-law’s closets over the weekend and I had a great time talking with him and looking over his old pictures and memorabilia. I am so proud of how he’s handling what must be a heartbreaking life change. He misses her and acknowledges his loss, but he also finds happiness in time spent with his church friends. He’s even making golfing plans with friends in the spring. I applaud his spirit. He’s such a lovely man.

I’m looking forward to Cassandra’s visit.


  • At 2014.03.04 06:48, Sandy said:

    I feel for your father-in-law. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to have to move forward without your lifemate. I really want to read Goldfinch, and I think audio would be the way for me to go since it seems I can’t read a stinking thing in print with any efficiency. And I’m so proud of your weight loss journey. It is so hard. And you are right…physical exercise is a long-term key to this stuff. The Fitbit should help, just try to get those steps in. Eventually you may want to start a walk/run or run program. There are these bands that you can get that go under your knees that really helps.

    • At 2014.03.04 08:06, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

      Yay for getting back on track. I walk every day but don’t run because of my knees.

      Good for your father-in-law! Keep an eye on him, though. We thought my mom was such a trooper but found out months later that she was putting on a brave front for us. It’s been over 3 years now and I think she’s doing great.

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      • At 2014.03.04 13:35, Meghan said:

        I’m glad you’re continuing with your weight loss journey! You’ve made such great progress and I think you and Sandy are right, exercise is a key to helping you continue there.

        My grandma passed away just last summer and my grandpa doesn’t know what to do without her. They’d been married for 61 years and I can’t imagine how hard that must be. Good on your father-in-law, I hope he does manage to continue to find meaning and purpose in his life.

        Gender bias in publishing is a tricky one. I actually read more books by women than by men and have for a few years now but there’s plenty of stigma in the system with men’s work simply being valued more highly, even if subconsciously. I’m working towards reading more authors of color and international books now to balance the scales that way, too, at least for the one person whose reading choices I can control (my own). I think a lot more about my reading choices now.

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        • At 2014.03.05 08:50, Karen White said:

          Thanks for sharing that article on gender bias in publishing. My self imposed policy (granted, a selfish one, as fewer female writers generally means less work for me) for years has been to avoid buying books by men. If I really want to read one, I’ll borrow it from a friend or a library. But I like that buyers in the UK have started challenging booksellers to take a look at their displays and purchases, and possibly make a change. And of course, it’s even worse for people of color.

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