Sunday, September 14, 2014

Murchie Plus Books: September 7th to 13th

The premise: I love my dog. I love books. I combine the two by photographing my dog with every book I read, barring the stuff I get through Marvel Unlimited. Last week, that was all the earth-focused stuff that led in to War of Kings.

The photos: go live on Instagram as I take them and appear here in digest form every Sunday.

A dark grey poodle--Murchie--laying on a sheep-shaped pillow. He wears a tank top striped in various shades of blue. His head is at a slight angle to the viewer so he faces the left side of the screen, ears perked and eyes wide. Before him sits Packaging Your Crafts, with a grid of various crafting ideas on its cover.

I received an invitation to return to a craft sale I tabled at last year, then promptly booked another for early October, so I asked Murchie to help me read up on packaging. PACKAGING YOUR CRAFTS by Viola E. Sutanto proved a great resource. While few of the case studies apply to the sort of stuff I make, the many photographs gave me plenty of ideas as to how I could adapt the suggestions to fit my needs. The book also contains some great pointers on developing your brand identity and suchlike. I've already designed and produced some new packaging, and I'm scheming ways to make my table more attractive and unified.

Murchie lounges on his sheep shaped pillow. An iPod with the cover for Mistborn appears directly in front of him, propped up against the pillow's edge. A paperback copy of the book sits slightly behind and to the right of him.

Some of y'all were wondering what's going on with my audiobook situation. DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS finally auto-returned, so I've placed another hold. There are only two people in front of me, so fingers crossed I'll be able to finish it soon.

In the meantime, I'm listening to MISTBORN by Brandon Sanderson. I've been meaning to reread the book ever since the third volume of the trilogy came out in paperback, but I'm slither-outerer at heart and have kept putting it off. Audiobooks have proven a good incentive for me to actually reread the series I want to reread, though (see also: the complete works of Robin Hobb; Lev Grossman's Magicians books), so when Audible handed me a free credit for no apparent reason, I decided to give MISTBORN the same treatment.

I've had tons of listening time on account of the packaging efforts I mentioned above, so I'm certain I'll finish it by early next week. With any luck, another of my library requests will come available soon after that. If not, I'll use the time to catch up on my podcasts, which I've woefully neglected over the last few months.

Murchie, as you can see, is no fonder of audiobooks than he's ever been. I keep trying to take super cute shots of my iPod propped up against his side, the screen artfully angled so you can actually get a clear view of the image on it. He keeps running whenever the thing gets too close to him. I'd rather not traumatize my dog, so I settled for sneaking it in under his nose and snapping one quick picture.

Murchie lounges on his sheep pillow, a wistful look on his face as he cranes his head towards the right side of the screen. Behind him sits a white-edged e-reader with The Magician King's cover on its screen. Murchie's head blocks the cover image but leaves the title and author visible.

He's somewhat better around e-readers, and consented to adopt his wistful Philosopher Dog expression while I posed THE MAGICIAN KING by Lev Grossman behind him.

It took me nine days to finish THE FIRES OF HEAVEN (nine days! Oh my soul!), and it feels wonderful to finally have a new novel before my eyes. I began the book yesterday morning and hope it'll only take me two or three days to read. Y'all know I feel like I'm stagnating when I spend too much time with a single book.

That said, an insane part of me wants to start LORD OF CHAOS immediately after I finish THE MAGICIAN KING. (I always stall out on THE FIRES OF HEAVEN, but I generally do better with the series from that point on.) I won't, since I have to get to my DRC of THE MAGICIAN'S LAND before it expires on the 21st, but perhaps I can tackle it after that.

Or maybe I'll make it my in-between book! Sometimes, when I want to read a longer novel but don't want to spend days and days and days with it, I'll simply read a hundred pages every time I finish another book. It's how I got through A Song of Ice and Fire and Vernor Vinge's Zones of Thought novels, and it's how I'll continue my Outlander reread/catch-up whenever I decide I can handle another enormous series.

And now, by popular demand, I give you an outtake from last week. Murchie stuck his tongue out at just the right moment--or maybe the wrong one, since the movement jiggled his head and made him a tad blurry. (He moves his head a lot, which makes photographing him difficult.) It's so pink!

Next week: more Lev Grossman! KJ Charles! Perhaps a library book!


  1. Murchie is so ridiculously cute.

    I like your plan of using something like the Wheel of Time as an in-between book. Like you I get really antsy if something feels like it's taking me too long, so I think I might steal your strategy to finally reread some books!

    1. Hurray! It's served me well through many a long-ass book.

  2. MURCHIE. I very much like his Philosopher Dog face--very somber.

    You know what happened yesterday? Jazz and Penelope and me and some books and some iPhones were all at my parents' house at the same time yesterday, and I could totally have done the adorable photoshoot plan with them. But I did not think of it because football had rendered me utterly disconsolate. I will try again after my library trip next week.

    1. Every time I visit your blog, I wonder if I'm going to see adorable pictures of Jazz and Penelope and books. EVERY TIME.

      So, yes. You must try again after next week's library trip.