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A Beautiful Day to Visit the Edge of the World

According to the Flat Earth Society*, the four corners of the world are located in Hydra (Greece), Paupa New Guinea, the Bermuda Triangle, and Fogo, Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada).

The ferry to Fogo island is less than an hour’s drive from our home, so obviously we had to make the trip. What’s life without a little adventure? And what’s the point of living this close to the edge of the world if you can’t be bothered to visit and pay your respects?

This post is going to be pic heavy, but I hope you enjoy the journey.

The road to Farewell (where the ferry docks) is about half-way between the highways to Twillingate and to Gander, branching up off of the cross-bar in that drunken H-shape. It’s a pretty drive, with typical Newfoundland scenery (rugged landscapes, ponds, trees) and the typical Newfoundland need to watch for moose. There’s not a lot to do while you wait for the ferry, unless you like tossing rocks in the water or looking at seaweed.

In other words, my family was sitting pretty.

Oooooh!

Oooooh!

The ferry itself is… well, it’s a working ferry, not a cruise ship. There’s a non-functional cafeteria, a few snack machines, the party closet I mentioned yesterday, lots of room to get inside if it’s raining, washroom facilities, and a 360 degree view of beautiful ocean and islands.

And crazy people.

Rawr.

Rawr.

Fogo island is beautiful. It’s not what you’d call lush, though at this time of year the trees are leafy and the wildflowers beside the road are in full bloom. The landscape in Newfoundland tends toward rugged rockiness, with geological features popping up everywhere you look. My favourites are “erratics”: boulders left strewn across the landscape by retreating glaciers. Also big, rocky hills that were once much taller mountains.

"The landscapes tend toward a certain landscapiness." -Why I'm not a tour guide

“The landscapes tend toward a certain landscapiness.” -Why I’m not a tour guide

So, Brimstone head. The CORNER OF THE WORLD for some reason I can’t quite figure out. But whatever! Here’s our first glimpse of it:

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See those stairs? Thank goodness for those! There are several places where you still have to scramble over rocks, but the stairs are helpful.

And plentiful.

And plentiful.

The view from the bottom:

Told you there were wildflowers!

Told you there were wildflowers!

…and from half-way up:

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ICEBERGS

It’s a long walk, and not an easy one if you’re not used to climbing all the stairs. But the view from the top is definitely worth the effort.

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The walk back down is easier…

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…though the stairs are still a wee bit intimidating if you’re clumsy and your legs are feeling a little wobbly from the climb.

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So that’s it. That’s Brimstone head. Okay, one more look from the top:

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I have more to share from our day on Fogo, but that can wait. Thanks for joining us! Every time I took a picture, I couldn’t wait to share it with you guys. 🙂

(Those who follow me on Twitter got the live show, complete with ancient safety instructions, Big D’s jumbo sausages, and more fun. It’s all still here, at least until it gets shoved down by my ramblings.)

 

*I really have no idea how seriously they take this. But it looks like the answer is “pretty darned,” at least for some.

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Wednesday Stuff: Icy Cold Edition

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It’s been a little chilly. Most of our snow melted last week, which was simply grand, but then everything kind of iced over.

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Everything.

Pretty, but slippery. I nearly killed myself getting these pictures, so I figured I might as well share them with all of you.

Okay, on to WIPpet Wednesday. Edits on Bound are still progressing, if slowly at times. Not to jinx anything, but we’re on schedule as far as that goes.

*waits for roof to crash in and exploditate the computer*

No?

Good. So here’s a snippet from Rowan’s POV in chapter 22, because I’m playing by the rules. But it’s a short one, because spoilers and good times abound, and I’d hate to ruin anything. We’re walking in on the middle of a fight, here.

I hesitated for a moment and felt some of my anger leave me, but my heart continued to pound. “You don’t think you can want something and still be afraid of it?”

His mouth twitched. “No, you can, and you should. What you’re saying no to is better than you can imagine. This decision should be so easy. You have until tomorrow to decide what you—”

I stepped closer again. “I don’t need until tomorrow. I know what I want.”

I know what she wants, too. Whether I let her have it is another question.

#DrunkOnPower #GodComplex #EvilGrin #IveHadTooMuchCoffeeToday

For anyone not in the know, WIPpet Wednesday is when we share a snippet of a work in progress relating in some way to the day’s date. The group is always growing. Take a look here, and then feel free to join in! And if you want updates on that there story (in which I never once use the phrase “that there,” FYI), feel free to add your name to the mailing list for updates and other fun stuff. Next edition (April-ish) will have news on ARCs, cover reveals, and publication dates.

On to ROW80, then!

Editing: As I said, not too bad. I stalled over the weekend, but things are moving again.

Reading: Haven’t had time. I know that’s sad, but there you have it. Well, I read a good chunk of a romance novel, but I’m giving up on it. I don’t believe that this woman (or anyone) would fall for the guy. He’s an alpha male with no redeeming qualities except for what she’s projected onto him (and massive junk, because they always have that, don’t they?). I just KNOW her love will redeem him in the end, but I don’t think I’ll be sticking around to see it.

Life: I was supposed to see a chiropractor today, but he got the flu and had to reschedule for Thursday. I was disappointed, but what can you do? I went out and got groceries, anyway. And walked the dog. So that’s something.

Oh, and the snow came back.

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And on that note…

Thanks for stopping by!


Holiday Wrap-Up

Helloooooo, lovely people! Did you all have a good week? We were away for a few days, so I have some catching up to do on blogs. I’ve also been distracted by a few Christmas gifts… *ahem*

I guess this is about it, isn’t it? End of the holidays, end of the year. It’s hard to believe 2013 is almost over. In some ways it was what I expected; in others, it’s been completely different, but I’ll be closing the books on what I consider to be a great year.

Looking ahead to next year… not yet. We’ll get there. It’s too scary.

So, what do we still need to wrap up here? Well, Amy Snow has gone back to the North Pole to relax after what was probably a stressful December with our family, so I’ll post the last few pictures. We came home from my in-laws’ house on the 28th and the kids were quite sad to see she’d left.

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Hanging out with the big man himself

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Playing a little Wii while we were sleeping, Amy?

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Snowflakes! Amy’s better at them than I am.

Sadly, I didn’t get a picture of Amy on Christmas morning. She was wearing a lovely new dress that a friend of mine sent for her. To be fair, I didn’t get pictures of anyone else that morning, either.

We had a good Christmas. AJ was up at 4:30, but the kids slept until seven, and the dog slept even later. I got seven pairs of knee-high socks (pictures to come, they’re amazing). Even better…

I finally got a Kindle! So now I can read the 52 books I already had downloaded. Wheeee! I’ve already got through a few. VERY exciting. I don’t know if it’s the screen lighting or what, but I’m finding it more enjoyable to use than the Kobo. With the Kobo I can read the books, but I’m always conscious of the format. The Kindle seems invisible.

My family loved their presents, so that was good. I was nervous about one of AJ’s big gifts– I dared to go off-list.

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…because he IS the Brute Squad!

He loved it. Andre the Giant, The Princess Bride and cozy hoodie– what’s not to love?

We all got spoiled. And then off to the in-laws’ for ANOTHER Christmas and a few days of relaxing. Not too shabby!

Back to work now, though. I have a ton of work to get done in January to get this manuscript ready for editing. I still feel like chapters 2-4 (or maybe 5) aren’t right. It’s a small enough portion of the book that I know I can’t give up over it, but it’s driving me INSANE. It’s a pebble in my shoe. A cat-hair in my nose. An odour in my literary fridge that’s making me gag but I can’t figure out where it’s coming from.

UGH.

I will get through this. I will. The answer is out there, I just have to find it.

So… how was your week? What did I miss? Do you have big plans for New Year’s Eve, or will you be staying home like me, trying desperately to stay awake until midnight?


Amy Snow’s Adventures, December 8

Amy Snow has had an interesting half- week. She and her friend Petunia the pony made a seasonally incongruous journey through a haunted forest (I may have forgotten to finish putting the Halloween stuff away. Thanks for pointing that out, AMY):

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She spent a day being none-too-pleased with the boys (again):

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…and she has followed us to my in-laws’ house to keep an eye on things (and hang out in a wreath, I guess. Why not?)

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I feel like I’m short a day… I’ll have to check the computer when we get home.

ROW80 Update:

Long story short, I have one scene left, and then Torn goes away for a while before I re-read and revise. Again. Yaaaay… I already have ideas for improvements. This could take a while.


The Adventures of Amy Snow, December 5

Amy Snow continues to spread warmth, cheer and magic in our house, in spite of the fact that we’re not even a week into December and I’ve already forgotten to set her up twice. Almost three times, but a friend posted a pic of their Elf last night and it reminded me. WHEW!

It’s not always easy to come up with ideas. Many people post their pictures on facebook and Pinterest to ispire others, but most of those elves seem to be so NAUGHTY! They make messes, spread sugar on the counter to make a snow angel, rip up the toilet paper, pull books off of shelves… and that’s just not Amy. Partly because she’s nice and helpful, but also because WHY would I do that to myself? Call me crazy, but I think kids can have fun with magical toys without me having to wipe broken eggs off of the counter.

So what has Amy Snow been up to?

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On Monday she added a few new ornaments to our little potted tree. I’m sure she’ll have fun when we get a big one!

We had a BAD evening on Monday, though. AJ was away at an award ceremony at the Governor General’s house in Ottawa (la dee dah!), the kids were cranky and fighting with each other and not listening to me. I was not amused. Amy wasn’t, either, but she gave them a get out of jail free card of sorts on Tuesday morning.

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YOU ARE ON NOTICE, CHILDREN.

They were very grateful. 🙂

On Tuesday night I actually thought ahead and planned something for after the boys went to bed. Ike has his own Monster High doll. She used to be mine, but he loves her, and I share. Venus McFlytrap’s hair was a WRECK. As pretty as saran hair is for dolls, it gets tangled far more easily than the nylon you find on My Little Pony toys. Venus’s hair was almost felted into a solid mass. I told Ike there wasn’t much I could do about it.

Good thing Amy Snow had access to a comb, an hour of spare (ha!) time, and a bottle of conditioner. She set up a little salon on the bathroom and took care of Venus’s issue. It’s not perfect, but it’s an improvement. Even better was the boys’ faces when they saw THAT bit of magic the next morning, and Ike dancing around saying “Thank you, THANK YOU!”

They set a good example by folding Venus's clothes neatly on the counter and cleaning up after themselves. :)

They set a good example by folding Venus’s clothes neatly on the counter and cleaning up after themselves. 🙂

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In other news, I’m getting pretty good at balancing things in Amy’s hands. 🙂

Last night I had a plan, but the boys’ clean laundry proved too tempting for Miss Snow. I don’t know whether she wanted to help put it away, or she was on her way somewhere else when the laundry quicksand sucked her in. Good thing the boys rescued her this morning!

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Now, let’s all agree to never tell the boys that their underwear (clean, but still) was on the internet, and go about our days like this never happened. I know Amy Snow wants to. 😉

Any brilliant ideas for Amy Snow’s adventures? I have some things planned, but input is always appreciated!

 


Oh, What a (Canada) Day We Had!

Just a few photos from our trip to Twillingate. Guys, this town… we were driving around, and I lost count of how many times I said “it’s SO PRETTY!” If you like fishing villages, gorgeous views, an amazing landscape, lighthouses and a whole lotta ocean, this is the town for you. There weren’t any icebergs around on the day we visited, but Twillingate is one of the best places to see them (not to mention the whales and the sea birds). Honestly, if AJ’s next posting can’t get us close to St. John’s, I’d be happy to move here.

Here’s the website, because I ran out of space for all the pictures I wanted to take.

Anyway…

The view from the restaurant where we ate lunch

The view from the restaurant where we ate lunch

A fun wine selection

A fun wine selection

Welcome to Newfoundland, flks. Did I mention that this is near Dildo Run Provincial Park?

Welcome to Newfoundland, folks. Did I mention that this is near Dildo Run Provincial Park?

This lighthouse looks like a chocolate milk bottle. The view from the top is spectacular!

This lighthouse looks like a chocolate milk bottle. The view from the top is spectacular!

That may or may not be Horney Head Cove. Pretty though, ain't it?

That may or may not be Horney Head Cove. Pretty though, ain’t it?

beach treasures

beach treasures

Sleepy cove

Sleepy cove

I thought the abandoned mining equipment was delightfully creepy!

I thought the abandoned mining equipment was delightfully creepy!

Somebody's shed

Somebody’s shed

More urchins than a Charles Dickens novel, I swear!

More urchins than a Charles Dickens novel, I swear.

Sunbeams over town. I wish I could have taken more pictures of the buildings; I do love a place where the houses don't all look the same!

Sunbeams over town. I wish I could have taken more pictures of the buildings; I do love a place where the houses don’t all look the same!

Oh, and here’s the weirdest thing we saw, when we were walking near the boats in the harbour: these things that looked like tentacle-less jellyfish, and they lit up. Rows of light reflecting the sun in rainbow colours. They looked like those cheap fibre-optic toys you buy at the circus, but tasteful. And also alive. We probably spent way too much time looking, but they were amazing! And it always drives me nuts when I can’t put a name to an animal. Closest I’ve come so far in my search is “comb jellyfish.” Any other thoughts? That’s a solid blob of critter there, not tentacles.

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see the light-up dots in lines on the right?

This one appeared to be quite deceased (an ex-whatchamacallit, if you will), but you can see the structure

This one appeared to be quite deceased (an ex-whatchamacallit, if you will), but you can see the structure. And its… mouth?

So there you go. Twillingate. And gelatinous blobs. YAY!

I’ll be back…


What a Fungi! (or, The Fungus Among Us)

OK, trying out the WordPress app on my phone… We’ll see how this goes.

The combination of late summer and torrential rain left our local forests polka-dotted with mushrooms a few weeks ago. Did I take pictures? You bet I did! I had two kids pointing out every fungal formation we passed on an hour-long walk and asking for a photographic record of these weird little not-critters.

Do I know what any of them are? Nope. I just know we’re not eating them. Mushrooms are nature’s paint chips. It might not hurt you, but why take the risk? Also, it’ll probably taste terrible either way.

To the photos!

 

This looks oddly like Newfoundland, if Newfoundland was made of pancake:

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Purple. Crazy, man:

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Nice colour, but is totally going to eat you:

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Lichen (because we’re equal opportunity) and some wee ‘shrooms:

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Melty. Eew.

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How does this NOT have a fairy sitting on it?

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Not fungus, just a pretty little spot beside the path. I love finding things like this:

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Looks like a candy bowl:

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Yeah, I think I’m done with captions for now…

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