6 Things That Have My Attention This Week

What has my attention this week?

6 Things That Have My Attention This Week

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Book: Scotland by Magnus Magnusson

It was by total coincidence that my two books titled Scotland — this one and Fitzroy’s MacLean‘s, which I talked about in a previous post –– were alphabetically filed, according to author last name, right next to each other on the shelf. But it gave me a nice opportunity to further solidify my comprehension and to compare the two. I surprised myself by finding MacLean’s little book to be one of the best historical accounts I’ve ever read of Scotland. Magnusson’s, which I’d read once before while researching my medieval novel Behold the Dawn, is about three times as big. It’s much more comprehensive, but not nearly as gripping, since it fails to bring the historical personages to live as vividly as did MacLean’s. Still, it’s very much worth the read if you’re interested in Scottish history.


Movie: The Great American West directed by Reed Smoot

I saw this IMAX movie in the theater when I was young, and I still like to revisit it (on good old VHS) now and then. It’s a stunning little cinematic ode to one of my favorite time periods. Appropriately gorgeous cinematography, lovely historical reenactments, and a lush score. Interestingly enough, though, I didn’t realize until this recent viewing that there are basically no cowboys and zero gunslingers in this show. Who’da thunk?


Music: Parallel Dreams by Loreena McKennitt

Moving on from all the Finnish metal I’ve been listening to lately, Loreena McKennitt’s haunting vocals are always a welcome change. This is one of her early albums and is comparatively one of my lesser favorites. But it still gets lots of points for haunting renditions of “Standing Stones” and especially the tragic “Annachie Gordon.”


Candy: See’s Chocolate

Talk about an awesome present! Reader Chautona Havig (who just happens to be one of the inspirations for my Outlining Your Novel Workbook and Structuring Your Novel Workbook) surprised me with the incredibly generous gift of a couple pounds of See’s truffles. Yumz!


Gizmo: Passport Cover

I splurged and bought myself a shiny cover for my brand new passport — in anticipation of an Alaska/Canada trip this summer. It’s a splurge because it’s not a necessity by any means, but I like the idea of having all my ID in one place. Whenever I travel, I’m always absently rooting through my purse to make sure everything’s still there (even though I know it is). With any luck, this will make reassuring myself easier.


Cute Animal I Want This Week

Photo taken by Cheryl Empey

Let’s chat! Is there a cute animal making your life happy this week–whether in “person” or via the Internet? Tell me in the comments!

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  1. Alaska and Canada—sounds exciting! My sisters visited Alaska with my grandparents several years ago and loved it. I’ve *still* never been out of the country, though a trip to Ireland is at the tip-top of my bucket list.

    Have you heard of Julie Fowlis? I noticed you listen to some Celtic music, so I thought you might enjoy her Gaelic vocals.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I’ve only heard Fowlis on the Brave soundtrack. But she’s great on that! What album would you recommend?

      • I *love* Julie Fowlis; she’s got some puirt-a-beaull (really fast songs) that are amazing, plus some slower ones, and most of them are in Gaelic; I love Gaelic, it’s so haunting and beautiful. And also Karen Matheson, who has one of the smoothest, most beautiful voices ever; her traditional Scottish songs are amazing. Try out Am Buachaille Ban, Ailean Duinn, and My Love is Like a Red Red Rose first, and then you’ll be hooked!

  2. Scotland sounds delightful. Canada just as adventurous. Cambridge and Ireland are beautiful.
    Would love to go to Alaska someday. Kate, when you go I hope you enjoy the Alaskan salmon! Not sure if you like fish. Be careful too. Not the safest place in the world. Can’t have our ringleader getting in trouble. Maybe send Jael with you.

    VHS. YES. Those were the days huh? VCR’s, cassette tapes (I still have some) totally old school.

    I would double-triple check my passport/wallet as well. Need to renew mine. Is that Bambi? That totally looks like a mannechin.


    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Hah, yes, Jael and her shin-kicking would definitely keep me safe against those Grizzly bears up there.

      I love fish, but there’s not much fresh here in Nebraska, for… obvious reasons. :p Definitely hoping to get some good samples up there this summer.

  3. Let me know if you’re coming to Vancouver and I’ll tell you everything you need to know!

  4. Oh, don’t remind me about the passports! We need to get 4 by July as we hope to drive from home to Maine and back again, going through Canada on the way back. I’m not looking forward to four fees for passports… :p (Shouldn’t going to Canada be like going from Kansas to Nebraska? They’re practically America as it is… 😉 j/k…mostly…)

  5. Phong Lê says:

    You should have splurged on a suitcase big enough to fit me in it! I want to visit Alaska so badly ?

    I hope you have a wonderful trip. I trust we will be seeing pictures ?

  6. Loreena McKennitt is one of my favorites. I think I’ll put some of her music on to write to tonight. 🙂

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      She’s so “story rich.” I can never listen to her stuff without coming up with new story inspiration.

  7. That picture of the Bambi impersonator toward the end of the post gave me a quirky thought. They really should make a movie with the ultimate killer zombie reindeer that come out of hiding to terrorize mankind seeking sweet vengeance for all their slain brethren. Th once hunted now become vicious hunters. Once the timid beast seeking shelter, now exerting fear into the hearts of men who flee. And there you go, an instant sensational blockbuster. Somebody please call up 20 Century fox. I can see the movie trailer in my head. *he he he*.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Hah. I’m sure somebody *will* make a movie about zombie reindeer. It’s bound to happen sooner or later! :p

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