January 29, 2011

Sports I could get into: Puppy Bowl

Don't worry, Puppy Bowl isn't anything to do with bowling puppies. From what Wikipedia tells me, it's shown in the States on the Animal Planet network, on the afternoon of the Super Bowl football game.

Basically, they put a lot of puppies (each representing the animal shelter they come from) on a model football field and let them run around together. Excellent! If I was a gambler, I'd back Max - I reckon those aerodynamic ears must give him some kind of advantage...

And this guy officially has the best job in the world.*

* After working in the sloth orphanage. And teaching baby otters to swim.

January 19, 2011

Authors for Queensland online auction

Want to do more to help those affected by Queensland's floods and get something for yourself at the same time? Then take a gander at the Authors for Queensland auction. The auction has been organised by authors Kate Gordon, Katrina Germein, Fleur McDonald and Emily Gale, largely thanks to the Power of Twitter.*

As well as signed copies of loads of great books, there are some very special items up for grabs, including:
Bidding is open until Monday 24 January.

And if something crafty is more your style (or also your style), Toni Coward is keeping a master list of flood-benefit auctions on her blog, make it perfect.

* Which makes me think yet again that I really must overcome my Twitter aversion, because I really would have liked to contribute to the auction but only found out about it after contributions closed :(

January 14, 2011

Online vs. instore book buying - discussion on Literary Life

Megan at Literary Life has been running a week-long discussion on online vs. instore book buying. While we all love to buy books at the lowest price possible,* there's more to buying from cheaper overseas bookselling sites than just the fact that your hard-earned isn't going into the pockets of Australian retailers.

Yesterday's discussion was from the point of view of authors, and I was most chuffed to have my thoughts on the matter included.

* because the cheaper the book the more of them we can afford to buy, obv.

January 13, 2011

Water, water everywhere

The news coverage of the devastating floods in Queensland has been distressing, to say the least. Even more distressing for an animal nerd like me has been the footage of animals stranded, swimming for their lives or drowned.

Like many people I know, every time I turn on the TV or read a news update I wish I could personally do more to help those who have been affected, but - for now* - I think the best we can do is to donate to the organisations that are already helping people, and whose work is vital to their immediate needs. If you don't already have a preferred charity to donate to, might I suggest:

 13/1/2011 ETA: If you want to do more, the most excellent Pip has posted a great round-up of crafty flood-benefit happenings and ideas at Meet Me at Mike's.

* There is already some discussion in YA circles about charity auctions and donating to libraries post clean-up, which will be great longer-term initiatives.

January 6, 2011

Resolutions for 2011

A bright, shiny new year is upon us and this year, for the first time in many years, I decided to make some resolutions. Nothing earthshattering, just a few small, (hopefully) achievable things that will make some positive difference to my life.

I thought posting them here might force me to stick to them, even if it's only to avoid the shame of reporting that I failed at the end of the year:
  • Learn to draft my own sewing patterns - after 25 years of sewing I feel I should at least be able to come up with something basic! I'm going to start with this skirt sloper and work my way up to dresses. Results may or may not be documented on this blog, depending on how bodgy they turn out...
  • Do physio exercises for my back every day - you'd think I'd have learnt by now that this is not optional, since every time I go more than 3 days without doing the back strengethening and stretching exercises my physio gave me I end up in excruciating pain. Yes, they're boring. Yes they take up 45 minutes of my day that might be spent doing something fun. Yes, they're preferable to a week of agony and remedial physio.
  • Floss - my two worst bodily fears are gingivitis and alopecia. Gingivitis is preventable.
  • Read more non-YA - in 2010 more than 95% of the books I read were YA. I meant to get to the 'adult' fiction section of the bookstore or library, but by the time I was done browsing the YA shelves I was always over budget/borrowing capacity. In 2011 I'm going to try to balance my reading between YA and other fiction. (Believe it or not, I think this might be the hardest resolution to keep - any adult fiction recommendations to get me started are most welcome!)
Here's to a gingivitis-free 2011!