Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Bookshop Hunting #1

Note: These are only my opinions and impressions of bookstores, book fairs, book sales, and/or other book-related events I’ve visited. I am not reviewing or ranking them because I’m sure other people will visit these places and have diverging opinions. Everyone has their own ideas and preferences of what a great bookstore should be. If you have a suggestion, feel free to comment on this post and take a look at my bookstore list in progress to make sure your suggestion doesn’t overlap with a place I already know about.

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One of my favorite things to do is to find bookshops. However, going to a bookshop is normally something tacked on to my list of chores and errands and I go to one if it happens to be on my way to another destination. So about a week ago, I thought, why not turn this into a project? The San Francisco Bay Area, compared to other places, is filled with bookstores and I wouldn’t find myself running out of places to visit any time soon. And on top of visiting new places, I could use this as a reason to post semi-regularly on my blog again.

Donation Center Book Sale – Friends of the San Francisco Public Library (1630 17th Street, San Francisco, CA) | Website
This happens once a month on every second Saturday, located in Potrero Hill across from a playground. It’s actually not as big as you’d think it might be considering the size of the city and the fact that the book sale takes place at their donation warehouse. When you enter, there’s some space cleared out where tables are set in a U-shape and books (in no particular order) are stacked with their spines facing up. Personally, I find it frustrating that there are boxes of books in the rest of the warehouse, but we’re not allowed to go through them. I guess they’re saving those for the giant book sale they hold once a year. It’s easy to get here. From the 16th St. Mission BART station, take bus 22 to De Haro.

Bolerium Books (2141 Mission St. #300, San Francisco, CA) | Website
I attempted to visit this bookstore but failed. I double checked on the website to make sure I had the hours right, but the doors were locked. Is there supposed to be another entrance to the bookstore that I did not notice? If so, it’s annoying that getting in is non-intuitive. I will try again on a different day when I happen to be in the Mission District. To get here, walk one block south from the 16th St. Mission BART station.

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Railroad Book Depot (650 Railroad Ave, Pittsburg, CA) | Website
This bookstore is located in the historic downtown of Pittsburg, a small suburb on the eastern side of SF East Bay. It’s a used bookstore, housed inside one of the brick buildings lining the street. Parking isn’t a problem, but there’s a two hour time limit. The style of the bookstore reminds me of a chain bookstore—perhaps it took over a Borders after it went out of business. The front of the store is where all the stationary and gifts are—it was nice to see that they had at least one rotating rack of greeting cards and postcards made by local artists. Once you walk in, to your right is the recent books and non-fiction as well as a large open area where I assume they have community meetings and author signings. All the way against the far wall is a table of free books, mostly fiction and textbooks the bookstore probably couldn’t sell. Fiction is located to the left of the store and they have a lot of genre fiction. They also segregated all the books with black/African-American characters and/or authors into a section that they called Urban Fiction, which I found annoying. Most of those were romances and erotica, not actual urban fiction, so I don’t know why they couldn’t have just shelved it in with the rest of the romances and erotica instead of separating it out. Aside from that, I did find an Umberto Eco book I didn’t already have in my personal collection. Getting here if you don’t have a car will be a pain because you’ll have to budget in an extra hour after getting off at the Pittsburg/Bay Point station to take the 392 bus. I recommend driving, take CA-4 East and Exit 23 for Railroad Ave.

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Barnes & Noble (5709 Lone Tree Way, Antioch, CA) | Website
What can I say? It’s a Barnes & Noble, and if you’ve been in one, you’ve pretty much been in all of them. When I came here last weekend, it was extremely busy. I was looking to get some stuff because someone had given me a gift card and I didn’t particularly want to use it online. The general layout of the store was the bestsellers and bargain books in front, the journals and gifts on the front left from the entrance, the cafe to the right, games a bit behind that, the rest of the books in the middle of the store, and the kids section in the back. I spent most of my time digging around in the bargain bins located between the major sections of the bookstore, but I didn’t find much. Sometimes there are treasures in there, but not this time. If you’re trying to get here, this is far on the edge of East Bay. Take CA-4 East to Exit 33. If you get bored, there’s the rest of the area which is basically just a giant shopping center.

Adventist Book Center (401 Taylor Blvd, Pleasant Hill, CA) | Website
This is a Christian bookstore. I am not religious nor am I interested in any kind of theology (which is kind of hilarious considering the meaning of my name) but for the sake of this project, it wouldn’t be fair to leave any bookstore out simply because I’m not interested in the types of books that they sell. This bookstore is located on a hill. When you enter the driveway as indicated in the address, turn right, otherwise you’d end up at a church instead of the bookstore. There’s all sorts of religious themed books here—from children’s books and Christian fiction to self-help and actual bibles. There’s even handy dandy stationary and dividers and folders for the hardcore bible study organizers. The unusual part of the store is that half of it is devoted to vegan/vegetarian food (warning: I noticed that some of it was expired). The background music, predictably enough, was contemporary Christian music. To get here from BART, get off at the Pleasant Hill station and take bus 18 north. If you’re driving, take Exit 51 on I-680.

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Amazon Books (1259 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, CA) | Website
Finally! I was able to see what a brick and mortar version of Amazon looked like. Unfortunately, I moved away from San Diego before the one down there opened, but after simply Googling for bookstores in the Walnut Creek area, I discovered that this one opened up just two months ago. It’s located in the center of all the high end shopping, which I’m not a fan of, but I can brave the yuppies if it means I get to see books. The Amazon bookstore is probably what you’d expect it to be—a showcase for things they sell online. Unlike a traditional bookstore, ALL of the books are shelved cover out (I don’t think I saw even one shelved spine out) and there was a section devoted just to Kindles. The tags for the books are interesting, too, in that they try to sell the books by saying stuff like “95% of reviewers gave this five stars!” or “If you like this, then try this!” Basically, Amazon recommendations in meatspace. If you don’t like books or Kindles, you can wait around for your shopping companions at the in-store Peet’s Coffee. I can see it appealing to people who like to window shop and buy at the spur of the moment instead of gleefully digging into towers of books, but I’m not sure I’d come back here unless they decide to radically redesign the place. To get here via BART, get off at the Walnut Creek station and walk south about one mile. Or, if you’re driving, take Exit 45A on I-680. Parking (and traffic!) is a pain in Walnut Creek, so I recommend public transportation. But if you must park, you can park in the structure next to Macy’s—it’s free up to three hours last I checked.

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The Mystic Dream (1437 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek, CA) | Website
This store is located three blocks north of Amazon. It’s a new age store with most of it devoted to rocks and incense, so if you’re sensitive to strong smells, I suggest you give this place a hard pass. The background music is some calming new age instrumental and I think there was a water fountain somewhere (or else that was in the background music, too). When I entered the store, one of the employees was busy explaining to a customer about some rocks that would bring them luck and wealth. There are a shelf of books against one wall—all of it new age and spiritual stuff—and next to that, an extensive collection of tarot cards. They also sell ouija boards. I’m definitely not into this stuff, but even so, I was disappointed in their book selection. I’ve seen other new age stores with a far more impressive inventory. But if you’re here for the magic rocks, well, you’d like this place.

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Swan’s Fine Books (1381 Locust St, Walnut Creek, CA) | Website
This store is located about four blocks northwest of Amazon. The outside of the store isn’t much to look at (and the bargain books are outside on carts), but the inside is cozy, organized, and well designed. It looks like someone’s personal library. Unfortunately, the books in this place are a bit out of my price range since it specializes in rare books and first editions. Some of the finer specimens are even displayed in glass cases. If the Edmund Dulac fairy tale book wasn’t a couple hundred dollars, I’d have definitely snapped it up. This would be a great place if you were a collector or a bibliophile with money.

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Goodwill | Website
(2536 N. Main St, Walnut Creek, CA)
(1699 Contra Costa Blvd, Pleasant Hill, CA)
(3495 Clayton Rd, Concord, CA)
(1659 Willow Pass Rd, Concord, CA)
Most people don’t realize this, but Goodwill also sells books. Some Goodwill stores have an extensive book inventory (like one I visited in Washington state over the Christmas break) or completely devoted to books (like one in San Diego). The four I visited over the weekend, however, were devoted to clothes. They each had a small shelf of books at the back of their stores, but it was mostly popular fiction. The only find I came across was a pristine copy of a DK Eyewitness travel guide to Turkey, newest edition for $1.50 at the Walnut Creek store. The original retail cost for the book was $25. I didn’t hesitate to buy it since I’ve started accumulating DK Eyewitness travel guides for my personal research library. I don’t recommend trying to find these stores via public transportation because they’re in some out-of-the-way places. In fact, getting to any of these places by car is a bit obnoxious since they’re located next to busy roads which are hard to get in and out of. And the parking at these places are limited.

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NaNoWordSprints Prompts for November 2017

Well, I’m late, but here they are. Prompts that I posted on the Twitter account @NaNoWordSprints last year during November:

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November 2, 2017, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Idioms Part 1

15 min
Loose lips sink ships
10 min Heebie-jeebies
30 min
Popularity contest
10 min
Throw under the bus
20 min
You kids get off my lawn!
30 min
I know it when I see it
15 min
My way or the highway
20 min Peanut gallery
10 min
The squeaky wheel gets the grease
20 min Playing by ear

 

November 5, 2017, 1:20pm-2:00pm (UTC-8)
The Strange

30 min
Squid, something weird

 

November 6, 2017, 7:30pm-9:00pm (UTC-8)
Horror Tropes

10 min
The worst possible thing happens to your character
15 min
Regretting your last meal
30 min
Hiding in the dark

 

November 7, 2017, 7:30pm-11:00pm (UTC-8)
Postcards

10 min a serene forest
15 min too exhausted
30 min
something very fishy
10 min
an unfortunate discovery
20 min monster fight
10 min
the snow is melting into music
30 min crossing bridges
15 min playing around
20 min don’t look down

 

November 12, 2017, 10:30pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Tarot

10 min The magician bridging the gap
20 min The empress
receptive to change
30 min The chariot
willingness to take the reins
10 min The sun expansion
15 min Temperance
attainment of a goal
30 min The devil
discretion should be used in personal matters

 

November 13, 2017, 7:00pm-9:00pm (UTC-8)
Getting Past A Jam

10 min
going around an obstacle
20 min
be patient and wait it out
30 min barging through
10 min in a rage
15 min getting caught

 

November 14, 2017, 7:30am-10:00am (UTC-8)
Idioms Part 2

30 min
actions speak louder than words
30 min
add insult to injury
30 min
back to the drawing board
20 min
drastic times call for drastic measures

 

November 14, 2017, 8:00pm-11:00pm (UTC-8)
Cat Pics

10 min on a mission
20 min
unending complaints
30 min
an embarassing situation
10 min surprise attack
15 min
defending your turf
30 min soon
20 min a bundled deal

 

November 16, 2017, 4:30am-9:00am (UTC-8)
Idioms Part 3

30 min
accident waiting to happen
30 min
all things considered
30 min against the world
30 min
ahead of the curve
30 min
any nook or cranny
30 min
as luck would have it
30 min
avoid like the plague
15 min
asking for a friend

 

November 16, 2017, 8:00pm-11:00pm (UTC-8)
Idioms Part 4

10 min
rediscovering the familiar
20 min out to lunch
30 min hidden layers
10 min restoration
20 min cats
30 min chocolate
10 min burst into flames

 

November 17, 2017, 6:00am-9:00am (UTC-8)
Train Idioms

10 min back on track
20 min
lose my train of thought
30 min a runaway train
10 min
riding the gravy-train
20 min
getting off the rails
30 min a full head of steam
20 min end of the line

 

November 17, 2017, 9:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
The Journey

10 min
unexpected delay
15 min
wandering in the dark
10 min
finding the destination

 

November 19, 2017, 6:30pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
NOWD Sprints

10 min silly hats
20 min candy buffet
30 min fancy clothes
10 min noir
20 min drinks
30 min ringing the bell
10 min paper crown

 

November 21, 2017, 7:30pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
Lab Sprints

30 min running late
10 min devising a plan
20 min
taking care of business
30 min strange results
10 min
dangerous instruments
15 min
a method in the madness

 

November 23, 2017, 5:30am-9:00am (UTC-8)
Book Titles from December 2008

10 min suspicion
20 min
an unexpected guest
30 min extreme caution
10 min the ties that bind
20 min
dancing with the devil
30 min moving targets
10 min cruel intent
20 min revelation
10 min show no fear

 

November 23, 2017, 12:00pm-3:00pm (UTC-8)
The Sprint Account Sprints Part 1

10 min all bets are off
15 min
blow up in one’s face
20 min cold shoulder
30 min draw the line
20 min
elephant in the room
15 min false alarm
10 min
give someone the creeps
15 min hot mess

 

November 23, 2017, 3:00pm-6:00pm (UTC-8)
K-Pop

10 min
The Rose – Sorry
20 min
Super Junior – Black Suit
30 min
Red Velvet – Peek-A-Boo
10 min
9Muses – Remember
20 min Day6 – All Alone
30min
Highlight – Can Be Better
15 min Monsta X – Dramarama

 

November 23, 2017, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
Idioms Part 5

10 min in a bind
20 min jump the shark
30 min kick the bucket
10 min long game
20 min
made of sterner stuff

 

November 24, 2017, 9:00am-12:00pm (UTC-8)
Weird and Wonderful Words Part 1

10 min
habile, hodiernal, hunt-and-peck, humdudgeon
20 min
menacious, minibeast, merrythought, mistigris
30 min
cudbear (a purple powder dye), cupreous (like copper), coriaceous (like leather), and conniption (a fit of rage or hysterics)
10 min
ecdysiast (a striptease performer), ensorcell (to enchant someone), eviternity (eternal existence), and exequies (funeral rites)
20 min
solander (a protective box made in the form of a book), soul case (the human body), serac (a ridge of ice on a glacier), scofflaw (someone who flouts the law)
30 min
winebibber (a heavy drinker), wish book (a mail order catalog), wabbit (exhausted), and wayzgoose (a summer party held by a printing house)
20 min
absquatulate (to leave somewhere abruptly), anfractuous (winding or circuitous), apple-knocker (an ignorant person), and argute (shrewd)

 

November 24, 2017, 5:00pm-7:00pm (UTC-8)
The Sprint Account Sprints Part 2

10 min next level
20 min odds and ends
30 min pitched battle
10 min
quick on the uptake
15 min
rise from the ashes

 

November 24, 2017, 7:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
Weird and Wonderful Words Part 2

30 min
badmash (hooligan), barn burner (a very exciting dramatic event), blatherskite (someone who talks a lot but doesn’t make sense), and bindlestiff (a tramp)
30 min
fugacious (transient or fleeting), fuscous (dark in color), fankle (to tangle), and frondeur (a political rebel)
30 min
kenspeckle (easily recognizable), keek (to peep surreptitiously), kantikoy (to dance as an act of worship), and kyphorrhinos (humped nose).
30 min
natation (swimming), noctambulist (a sleepwalker), nacarat (a bright orange color), and nesh (weak, delicate, or feeble).
30 min
peely-wally (looking pale and unwell), piacular (making or requiring atonement), pinguid (resembling fat), and pother (a commotion or fuss)
30 min just in time
30 min
orrery, orectic, otalgia, obnubilate
30 min
tellurian, thalassic, thirstland, thurible
30 min
gaberlunzie, galligaskins, gaikit, gobemouche
20 min
luculent, logomachy, labarum, languescent

 

November 25, 2017, 8:15pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
Sprinting from a Parallel Universe

10 min battle
20 min lost and found
30 min alternate plans
15 min
something on the horizon

 

November 26, 2017, 12:00pm-3:00pm (UTC-8)
Weird and Wonderful Words Part 3

10 min
agon (conflict), alpenglow (rosy color seen at sunrise and sunset near mountains), aboulia (without will power), algedonic (pertaining to both pleasure and pain)
20 min
peregrinate (to travel with a goal in mind), palanquin (a covered litter carried by four or more bearers), puissant (powerful), poobah (someone holding multiple positions of power at the same time)
30 min
brume (mist or fog), brobdingnagian (enormous), bellicose (war-like), bloviate (to speak in a boastful manner)
10 min
swan song (final performance), sanguine (cheerful), salient (prominent), simper (to smile in a frivolous, self-conscious manner)
20 min
caprice (impulsive action), catafalque (platform used to display a coffin), coruscate (to give off light), chortle (to laugh cheerfully)
30 min
quaff (to drink), quaquaversal (going off in all directions at once), quab (to throb), quackle (to suffocate)
20 min
fissiparous (fragmenting), fascicle (a bundle), funambulate (tightrope walking), febrile (feverish)

 

November 26, 2017, 6:00pm-7:00pm (UTC-8)
Weird and Wonderful Words Part 4

10 min
houndstooth, handlanger, hegemony (domination, influence), habiliment (attire)
15 min
gloaming (twilight), gesticulate (to make gestures), garrulous (excessively talkative), grandiloquent (overly wordy)
15 min
squeezebox (accordion), saccadic (jerky, twitching), seron (crate), stillicide (eavesdrop)

 

November 27, 2017, 7:00pm-11:00pm (UTC-8)
Weird and Wonderful Words Part 5

10 min
nabalitic (churlish), noddypeak (fool), nyctalopia (night blindness), nim (to steal)
20 min
abditive (remote, secret), aby (to make amends), ambages (delays), azoth (mercury)
30 min
oakus (wallet), ouzel (blackbird, dark-haired person), osmesis (the art of smelling), ombre (shadowy)
20 min
whinstone (hard rock), wrick (to twist), wankle (unstable), watchet (pale blue)
10 min
racemation (a cluster), ranarian (froggy), rubigo (mildew), risible (laughable)
20 min
ickle (little), intersidereal (between stars), ivresse (drunkeness), ingannation (deception)
30 min
mabble (to wrap up), melic (lyric), moton (armor for the armpit), mulct (to swindle)
15 min
biolith (rock formed by living creatures), bombilate (to hum), burrole (an eavesdropper), breme (fierce)
20 min
uraster (starfish), utile (profitable), ughten (morning twilight), umbe (around)

 

November 28, 2017, 8:00am-10:00am (UTC-8)
Idioms Part 6

30 min rack and ruin
20 min return to form
30 min root cause
20 min reduce to rubble

 

NaNoWordSprints Prompts for July 2017 – Week 4

Well, here’s the last week of the Twitter prompts from July’s Camp NaNoWriMo session. Have fun using them in your stories!

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July 22, 2017, 9:15am-1:25pm (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 16

30 min
what will change everything
30 min fame and fortune
30 min
the mystery continues
30 min steal your soul
30 min
bucking the trend
30 min in for a treat
30 min
another one bites the dust

 

July 22, 2017, 10:00pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
The Sprints Account Sprints Part 1

10 min becoming aware
20 min
something new and interesting
10 min
completely incomprehensible
30 min
accidental invention
10 min
learning something new
20 min know it all
10 min party
30 min delusional
20 min limitless

 

July 23, 2017, 6:30pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
The Sprints Account Sprints Part 2

10 min far behind
20 min wicked smart
10 min
secrecy and manipulation
30 min
the games people play
10 min sly, satisfied grin
20 min
getting bigger and bigger
10 min
infectious and charming
30 min devoid of mercy
15 min
adorable, inevitable, or intense

 

July 25, 2017, 10:15pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
The Sprint Monster

20 min
a monster is coming
15 min escape route
20 min chase scene
30 min plot holes

 

July 26, 2017, 8:00am-12:00pm (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 17

30 min one track mind
30 min
attracted a following
30 min dulled the edge
30 min
fallacy in this reasoning
30 min
a bit about bananas
30 min
a somewhat different technique
30 min pretty obscure

 

July 27, 2017, 7:00pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 18

10 min don’t be silly
20 min
connect somewhere
30 min
emotional distress
10 min floating around
20 min
otherwise working
30 min
commonly understood
10 min
no longer despair
10 min
see a resurgence
20 min scary stuff
30 min
before the fight was over
10 min
shocked by how things went
20 min new evidence
30 min
it may not be real
10 min
prepared for the fallout
20 min
unqualified reservations
30 min they want to flee

 

July 28, 2017, 7:00pm-2:00am (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 19

10 min
constantly on the move
20 min
encouraging an overhaul
30 min
the original was released
10 min
more than a bit insane
20 min a direct link
30 min
knocking it out of commission
10 min
no one can hear you scream
10 min
back to square one
20 min
stronger together
30 min
decided to fight back
10 min voice in the fog
20 min slippery slope
15 min risking their lives
10 min
invent and explore
20 min
got back up again
30 min
a potentially dangerous situation
10 min in a single bound
30 min
behind the scenes

 

July 29, 2017, 10:00am-6:00pm (UTC-8)
Strange Idioms

10 min
Bob’s your uncle (used to conclude a set of instructions)
20 min
a different kettle of fish (a different thing altogether)
30 min
donkey’s years (a very long time)
10 min
all mouth and no trousers (boastful but can’t back himself up)
20 min
cat got your tongue (point out someone’s silence)
30 min
chew the fat (to gossip)
10 min
under the weather (to feel ill or tired)
20 min
to go pear-shaped (describe something gone wrong)
30 min
a piece of cake (it’s really easy)
10 min
damp squid (something that fails to meet expectations)
15 min
cold turkey (abruptly giving up a habit or addiction)
30 min
my neck of the woods (area where I live)
10 min
give someone the stick (criticize or mock someone)
20 min
thick as thieves (close friends)
30 min
throw a spanner in the works (do something to complicate a plan or prevent from succeeding)
10 min
wipe the floor with someone (defeat someone easily)
20 min
won’t touch it with a barge pole (something so unappealing you wouldn’t want to go anywhere near it)
30 min
pot calling the kettle black (point out hypocrisy)
15 min
when pigs fly (something that will never happen)

 

July 29, 2017, 11:00pm-2:00am (UTC-8)
Titles from Books Published on June 2012

10 min villains for hire
20 min at his command
30 min
unraveling the past
10 min
darkness devours
20 min chasing evil
30 min a tangled affair
20 min gone missing

 

July 30, 2017, 7:30am-12:00pm (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 20

10 min
work well enough
30 min
piercing cry and panic
30 min
there’s nothing wrong
30 min not so kind
30 min
full of accusations
30 min
might not be the best place
30 min poking around
30 min
reinventing the wheel

 

July 30, 2017, 3:00pm-6:30pm (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 21

30 min
better than the real thing
30 min
astonished to discover
30 min heighten tension
30 min freak accident
30 min know for certain
30 min
what happens after fairy-tale endings

NaNoWordSprints Prompts for July 2017 – Week 3

I got delayed a bit because I was having internet connectivity issues, but here’s week 3 from the sprints account in July…

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July 15, 2017, 2:00pm-4:00pm (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 7

10 min
some of the meanest tricks
20 min
entertaining debate
30 min
huge implications
10 min
protect and preserve
20 min recent troubles



July 15, 2017, 5:00pm-7:00pm (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 8

10 min
they’ve had some delays
20 min free to wander
30 min
unfathomably complex
10 min a swirling vortex
20 min forced to endure

 

July 15, 2017, 8:15pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
Titles from Books Published on October 2015

10 min forgotten voices
20 min damage control
30 min walk through fire
20 min out to lunch

 

July 15, 2017, 10:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Titles from Books Published on January 2017

10 min dead run
20 min the rule maker
30 min game of lies
10 min a rustle of silk
20 min
driven to distraction

 

July 16, 2017, 2:00pm-4:00pm (UTC-8)
Titles from Books Published on April 2013

10 min
a nearly perfect copy
20 min hair raising
30 min
no strings attached
10 min sinner’s heart
20 min
no stranger to scandal

 

July 16, 2017, 7:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 9

10 min
holding back tears
20 min repair procedure
30 min
misconceptions and lies
10 min
thoroughly debunked
20 min safe crossing
30 min
astounding and awkward
15 min
inevitable consequence
10 min
magical and wonderous place
20 min
feeling the pressure
30 min
whatever the truth
15 min
lack of movement
20 min
the unfortunate result

 

July 17, 2017, 8:00am-12:00pm (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 10

30 min
broken on purpose
30 min getting it wrong
30 min
sense of adventure
30 min
appear abandoned
30 min
no rhyme or reason
30 min peculiar method
30 min confront the fact

 

July 17, 2017, 8:30pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Postcards

10 min
making a grand entrance
20 min surprise hug
30 min deadly capture
10 min
where dreams come true
20 min
under construction
30 min sleepy friends
10 min bizarre visions
20 min funny expression
30 min
deserved accolades
10 min haunted
20 min investigations

 

July 18, 2017, 10:00pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 11

10 min
outside acceptable
20 min
errant stab in the dark
30 min
sooner than expected
10 min the ugly truth
20 min
told not to flirt with one another
10 min
considerable injury
20 min
power and versatility
15 min
hearts remain pure

 

July 19, 2017, 8:00am-12:00pm (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 12

30 min alive and well
30 min running late
30 min stopped working
30 min
abandoned and derelict
30 min the big fireworks
30 min
without hesitation or shame
30 min deep in the dark

 

July 19, 2017, 11:30pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Meow Sprints

10 min
all cats are gray in the dark
20 min
busier than a one-eyed cat watching two mouse holes
30 min
cat got your tongue
15 min
the cat’s out of the bag

 

July 20, 2017, 7:00pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 13

10 min
don’t mess around
20 min played host
30 min a common item
10 min making a point
20 min
saves another life
30 min
looking extraordinarily bad
10 min double take
10 min
something emerges
20 min
available for the first time
30 min
come to a resolution
10 min
the guy most people think that did it
20 min
exactly what it sounds like
30 min
reserves of composure, ingenuity and stoicism
10 min into the wild
25 min earliest fear

 

July 21, 2017, 8:00am-12:00pm (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 14

30 min
fly in any direction
30 min
love wiill tear us apart
30 min silver lining
30 min very sharp
30 min eminently worthy
30 min
precarious survival
30 min
bizarre and insightful

 

July 21, 2017, 6:00pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 15

10 min money to burn
20 min
learn the hard way
30 min
exclusivity and indifference
10 min
completely beside the point
20 min bold move
30 min
fall and redemption
10 min very poor choice
20 min
a strange hissing noise
30 min
bound to happen sooner or later
10 min
it’s gonna cost us
20 min worth recalling
30 min
his cover is blown
10 min
greatly influenced
20 min
strange bedfellows
30 min
double standards
30 min
at least it can be a little naughty

NaNoWordSprints Prompts for July 2017 – Week 2

Here’s week 2 from the sprints account in July…

* * *

July 8, 2017, 11:00am-2:00pm (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 3

10 min glaring omission
20 min
he did not believe he could lose
30 min
trying to put it all together
10 min
imperfect and incomplete
20 min
open to interpretation
30 min
lurks in the shadows
20 min bad romance

 

July 8, 2017, 10:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Two Syllable Rhymes Part 1

10 min
wonder, blunder, plunder, thunder
20 min
follow, wallow, hollow, swallow
30 min
enchant, decant, transplant, eggplant
10 min
hamlet, magnet, casket, ratchet
15 min
snappy, happy, sappy, nappy

 

July 9, 2017, 1:30pm-4:00pm (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 4

10 min causing a stir
20 min
suddenly made known
30 min
a matter of life and death
10 min
informative letters
15 min
a fascinating archive
30 min
you’re doing it wrong

 

July 9, 2017, 7:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 5

10 min culinary delights
20 min
out-ranking the homegrown talent
30 min so annoying
10 min
professional curmudgeon
20 min
explain how it works
30 min restored to life
10 min the missing link
20 min
enjoy the process of getting there
30 min
disheartening pessimism
10 min
a significant section
20 min
ferocity is essential
30 min still a gamble

 

July 10, 2017, 7:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 6

10 min
remembering the beginning
20 min
free running shenanigans
30 min
save you in return
10 min changing context
20 min
bourgeois respectability
30 min
everything he knows
10 min
one of the most important figures
20 min high quality
30 min at the very edge
10 min
boundaries have changed
15 min
honoring and rewarding
30 min
another reason to be careful

 

July 11, 2017, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Titles from Books Published on October 2008

10 min night secrets
20 min beautiful liars
30 min veiled truth
10 min
too close to home
20 min the chosen sin
30 min
a spoonful of poison
10 min little divas
20 min forbidden fruit
15 min
the love of danger
20 min
terms of surrender

 

July 12, 2017, 10:45pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Two Syllable Rhymes Part 2

10 min
adore, galore, ignore, restore
20 min
skylight, birthright, shipwright, airtight
30 min
contort, support, retort, distort
10 min
rooftop, backdrop, workshop, eavesdrop
20 min
bombshell, doorbell, resell, death knell
15 min
shoulder, boulder, smolder, older

 

July 13, 2017, 7:00pm-9:00pm (UTC-8)
Titles from Books Published on October 2009 Part 1

10 min
his secret agenda
20 min
bound to shadows
30 min
voices in the dark
10 min
breaking the rules
20 min perfect mistake

 

July 13, 2017, 11:00pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Titles from Books Published on October 2009 Part 2

10 min best enemies
20 min
up close and personal
30 min
the long wait for tomorrow
10 min persuit of honor
20 min
a change had to come

 

July 14, 2017, 8:00pm-1:00am (UTC-8)
Titles from Books Published on December 2015

10 min
enemy in the dark
20 min
desperate measures
30 min friends to die for
10 min target engaged
20 min brute force
30 min
one tempting proposal
10 min an evil mind
20 min the final move
30 min
trusting a stranger
10 min thrill of the chase
20 min
too close to home
30 min
the cost of the forbidden

NaNoWordSprints Prompts for July 2017 – Week 1

Yep, I’m late again. It always seems like it takes me a while to get these together. But finally here they are: the @NaNoWordSprints prompts that I tweeted out during July.  These are in a slightly different format than before, but hopefully it’s self-explanatory. Have fun if you decide to use them on your own!

* * *

June 30, 2017, 8:00pm-2:00am (UTC-8)
Beginning Tropes

15 min action prologue
20 min big first choice
10 min chilly reception
30 min
dramatic chase opening
20 min dream intro
10 min
doomed hometown
15 min
it was a dark and stormy night
20 min
once upon a time
30 min
the magic comes back
10 min
starts with their funeral
5 min when it all began
20 min a hero is born
30 min inciting incident
10 min
pride before a fall
10 min open door
30 min a twist of fate

 

July 1, 2017, 9:00am-12:00pm (UTC-8)
Postcards sent on April 2017

10 min a gathering
20 min device
30 min map
10 min
cat in the window
20 min
mysterious manuscript
30 min sea captain
20 min arrows

 

July 1, 2017, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Idioms from around the world

10 min
There is no cow on the ice
20 min Pay the duck
30 min Wear a cat
10 min
not my circus not my monkey
15 min
the demon of midday
30 min
to let a frog out of your mouth
10 min
into the mouth of the wolf
20 min to ride as a hare
30 min
flat out like a lizard drinking
5 min
to give someone pumpkins

 

July 2, 2017, 9:00am-10:00am (UTC-8)
Coffeeshop Prompts

10 min scone
15 min coffee
15 min trendy

 

July 2, 2017, 2:00pm-4:00pm (UTC-8)
SFMOMA

10 min seascape
20 min wings
30 min
please do not touch
10 min couple
20 min
not supposed to be there

 

July 2, 2017, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Reaction Tropes

10 min blank stare
20 min security cling
30 min stunned silence
10 min
unstoppable rage
15 min
villainous breakdown
30 min implied answer
10 min collective groan
20 min
disappointed in you
15 min dramatic drop
20 min
mock surprise reaction

 

July 3, 2017, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Idioms

10 min
skin of your teeth
20 min
carry your heart on your sleeve
30 min kick the bucket
10 min bite the bullet
20 min
it’s raining cats and dogs
30 min
through the eye of a needle
10 min
skeleton in the cupboard
20 min eat humble pie
15 min
separate the wheat from the chaff
20 min
add insult to injury

 

July 4, 2017, 12:00pm-4:00pm (UTC-8)
Food Idioms

10 min
don’t cry over spilled milk
20 min
not my cup of tea
30 min egg someone on
10 min piece of cake
20 min forbidden fruit
30 min rotten apple
10 min sugarcoat
20 min go bananas
15 min
too many cooks spoil the stew
20 min whole enchilada

 

July 4, 2017, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 1

10 min a fruitless hunt
20 min
this stuff is going to be everywhere
30 min
became an obsession
10 min
well versed in the dark arts
20 min
have nothing in common
30 min
chased by the enemy
10 min
change your mind
20 min
remain an enigma
15 min
whether you asked for it or not
20 min
sights and sounds

 

July 6, 2017, 10:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Cat Pics

10 min
a terrible mistake
20 min miniature
30 min
an unwanted companion
10 min angst
20 min floating by

 

July 7, 2017, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
Common Phrases Part 2

10 min
most embarassing protest
20 min pretty lights
30 min
a new balance of power
10 min
you don’t want to meet these guys in a dark alley
20 min masks of agony
30 min
a photographic mystery
10 min
secrets of a true master
20 min
in line with the heart
15 min
somebody’s watching you
20 min
goodness had nothing to do with it

Moo

IMG_0518

Other than a couple postcard posts, I admit I haven’t been as on the ball on the blog as I’d like to be. Sometimes you have grand plans to get things done, but then…distractions!

I’m not the sort of person to sit around and do nothing–especially when I’m in a new place that I want to explore the heck out of–but part of the blame can also be put at the paws of my newest roommate, Moo. She follows me around and talks more than I do. The gift of gab is strong with this one.

I got Moo over the Memorial Day Weekend at the local shelter which was overflowing with cats (it was kitten season). There were also lots of potential adopters there, too, but they were only interested in the kittens. I was the only one specifically wanting an adult cat. Moo seemed rather chill and for me, it was quick and painless to bring her home since I didn’t join in the fray to fight over the cute kittens.

The last time I had a pet, I was seven, and it was just a bunch of goldfish. But don’t worry, I’ve been thinking quite a while about getting a cat and I’m well aware of all the responsibility, time, and money it requires for being a pet owner. It’s a long term thing, and I know I’ll have to be there for Moo when she’s old and sick and not just when she’s younger and active.

Anyways, don’t worry about being spammed with a kazillion cat pics from yet another source on the internet. I’m not very good at taking pictures of moving targets and even I know blurry cat photos don’t make for good blog posts.

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Postcard #155 – Squamish

I haven’t been to Squamish before, but I’d imagine it would be an interesting place to visit, particularly during the summer. I might be back in Vancouver around Christmas time, so if I decided to go there then, it’ll depend on the weather and the conditions of the roads.

As for getting postcards from Canada via Postcrossing–it’s actually kind of rare. It’s the same with Mexico. I think it’s because there aren’t as many people participating in those two countries as it is in the US.

Postcard155a

Postcard155d

Postcard #144 – Growing Things

I really enjoy strange postcards. Tourist postcards can literally be a dime a dozen. This one definitely counts as odd. Because who would think that a picture of someone’s plant hobby would make a nice postcard? Besides, this raises some questions. Who’s growing this stuff? What’s being grown? Why are there paintings/drawings in the background? Why is this arranged this way in the first place?

Postcard144a

Postcard144d

Notes from Los Angeles

After the whole move and everything, I totally forgot about my pitstops in Los Angeles. The photos below include works from LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), The Broad, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and Little Saigon in Westminster.