Challenge Update: Week 5 of Short and Sweet & 1000+ Pages of Epic Fantasy + My Dog Gave Me A Heart Attack

Howdy my captivating, convivial Bookbaggers!

Welcome to another highly successful update of Short and Sweet and 1000+ Pages of Epic Fantasy, peppered with the tale of one of my dogs (I have 3 fur kids in various stages of decrepitude and idiocy) disappearing over a stormy night and generally scaring the bejesus out of me!

On that note, lets begin with:

Short and Sweet challenge badge

There wasn’t a huge amount of activity in this challenge last week, but still worthy of the mighty numbered list:

  1. I have still been reading a lot of Above/Below by Stephanie Campisi and Ben Peek to, from and during work (on my break of course!) and although I didn’t finish Above and flip to Below before the end of the week, I did at the start of this week and (spoiler alert) finished the whole kit and caboodle Wednesday, so in my next update I’ll share my new pick and tell you my general thoughts on the book (spoiler alert again – it was pretty great)AboveBelow-cover1-300x246
  2. I didn’t read any more of Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan last week either, but I did read another story yesterday so I’ll tell you about that in the next update, and since there is now only two stories left, I may even finish it over the weekend and will have another new book 😀Cracklescape_lg_large
  3. Lastly, on Sunday I read 2 stories from The Living Dead zombie anthology, coz I was having an out-of-the-rain-reading-binge again. “The Dead” by Michael Swanwick, was another one which dropped the mindless-dead-eating-everyone’s-face thing and instead had a world of the undead as commodities, bought and sold for cheap labour, the sex industry and as curiosities. Then because I was still in a zombie mood I read “The Dead Kid”  by Darrell Schweitzer, which is about a boy who wants to be in the local tough-kid gang headed by the school’s resident thug until he discovers that they have a dead, reanimated boy in their hideout to use as a plaything and test for potential new members. Both stories had a running theme of humanity being uglier and more deadly than the undead, and the zombies themselves were pretty placid and played the part of the victim more.A bunch of different zombie stories by different authors? What's not to love?

Until next week the contenders remain unchanged:

a clockwork orangeClockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

i am legendI Am Legend by Richard Matheson

hornHorn by Peter M Ball

BleedBleed by Peter M Ball

deadly belovedDeadly Beloved by Max Allan Collins

ericThe Illustrated Eric by Terry Pratchett (writer) and Josh Kirby

Once again it was the next challenge that I really went crazy with this Sunday:

1000+ pages of epic fantasy challenge badgeAs I said, Sunday was a stay-inside-reading sort of day, especially with the stress of the rest of the weekend (which I’ll get into after official challenge business :P) so I got carried away in my two fantasy worlds again:

The Sending:

Maruman on the cover of The Sending72 pages (3 chapters)

Pages remaining: 272

Brisingr:

Brisingr31 Pages (2 chapters)

Pages remaining: 445

Total:

103 Pages

Pages remaining: 717

At this point because the plot is rushing forward with both books and I don’t feel like I’m in a reading rut anymore, I could possibly amp up my goal to 100 pages a week, but as I don’t know if every week will be so fruitful, I’m not gonna jinx it and instead if I got over 50 pages that’s just a bonus 🙂

Besides the above reading fun I also got stuck into one of my  Free Comic Book Day comics – Worlds of Aspen 2014 – which I quite enjoyed! The zero issue of The ZooHunters had a lovely art style and some interesting elements for a science fiction series, and Damsels in Excess was a solid zero issue introducing the 5 princesses of a realm where all men have been eliminated in some way by an unnamed sorceress. Both caught my interest so I’ll have to look out for their official first issues.

 

Now onto the story of my dog nearly giving me a heart attack/making me keel over with worry.

This is the face of a naughty dog who had me freaking out for a night and most of the next day. Damn cute little bitch (technically not offensive as it's completely accurate!) doesn't look fazed by the whole thing does she?

This is the face of a naughty dog who had me freaking out for a night and most of the next day. Damn cute little bitch (technically not offensive as it’s completely accurate!) doesn’t look fazed by the whole thing does she?

On Friday afternoon I had a dentist appointment, so my lovely mum agreed to pick me up early and drive me there. On the way out to meet her I checked my phone and I had a few missed calls from an unknown number. Thinking it was either someone I hadn’t updated in my contacts or a company trying to sell me something I txted them asking who they were and while we were driving to the dentist I got a txt back saying they had found my dog in some wetlands near my house but she had slipped her collar and escaped their yard!

Right away I rang and rescheduled the dentist appointment and we rushed home, hoping that she had made her way back there, and when there was no sign, we went down to the wetlands to search. After walking a few kilometres calling out to her and asking every dog-walker we saw if they had spotted a salt-and-pepper miniature schnauzer (nope), I rang the ranger to see if she was at the pound (nope) left a description and my details and we collected the collar off the woman who found her before returning home, defeated.

As I said at the start, I have three dogs of various ages and levels of stupidity, two of which I talked about in this post, and a third – Rocky, an excitable and quite thick Maltese/Shih Tzu/something else, possibly a poodle or terrier of some kind – we adopted last year when his owner, a former tenant of my mum’s, passed away. Tia, the only female of the bunch and the escapee falls on the older side of the group being around 10 this year (only a vet’s estimate as she’s a rescue dog) but is definitely the smartest and most sensible of the bunch (most of the time). Despite being generally more well-behaved and sleeping the majority of the day, this is the third time she has snuck past our gate and went walkabout, however the last two times we were contacted by the ranger or fellow dog-owner before we even knew she was gone. This time she was out god-knows-where with no identification, qualities which aren’t conducive to long periods in the wild (she is quite timid due to her background, has the physique of a pampered house-dog, and no teeth) and to top it off, storms were forecasted for the night.

Suffice to say, mum and I were racked with worry, and even though I tried to enjoy my pre-planned night of frivolity with friends, family and plentiful beverages, I think my mournful looks out the window every time a new burst of rain started may have dampened the night. Thanks to the support of said friends, family and beverages I was actually able to sleep that night, and then the next morning went to the library to make a missing flyer with the above photo (as it was the cutest one and has her with a similar haircut to the current one) before mum and I put them up around the wetlands and surrounds. Afterwards I called another pound, with no luck, who suggested I try local vets (my next plan anyway) and a Facebook page called Pets of Perth – Lost & Found.

I was going onto the book of faces anyway to post a status for people to share around, so I went to duplicate the status on the page and check the current posts to see if there was any leads. Almost right away I found a post about a dog which was found that morning in the carpark of the local shopping centre, which didn’t have a picture and described the dog as a terrier, but as I read on sounded more and more like Tia. With my heart in my throat I rang the woman and with only a minute or so of conversation she was also convinced that she had my dog and gave me her address which was only round the corner!

Right away Mum, Sarah (who had stayed over) and I jumped in the car and raced around to her house. As soon as I saw the woman emerging through the front door with Tia in her arms I burst into tears and rushed over. As she passed her over I saw the woman was also getting teary, and when I tried to offer her $50 as a thank you, she refused and insisted that returning her was its own reward.

The rest of the weekend felt so bizarre as the adrenaline wore off into stunned relief and I mainly spent it making Tia comfortable at home and generally trying to get myself back to feeling normal! Tia seemed in an amazing state considering she had spent a night out in the elements and must’ve traveled several kilometres going down to the wetlands, then making her way to the shops in the opposite direction by morning, and mostly she just wanted to rest and be near us and her doggy bros 🙂

Tia and the boys

Tia looking a bit stunned and bedraggled with the boys virtually sitting on her in welcome

My gratitude towards the woman who found her is almost inexpressible. Because of how Tia is with most strangers we knew she wouldn’t allow herself to be nabbed by just anyone, but I’m so glad she found a real animal-lover with a sweet dog of her own, who didn’t take her to the pound or report her to the rangers because she knew, being the weekend, that her owner wouldn’t be able to collect her till Monday. I’m also very grateful to the pound and local vet which told her about Pets of Perth – Lost & Found (and the woman at the pound who put me onto it!), and the Facebook page in general for existing and helping me find my silly old-lady pooch.

Sorry for rambling on about a completely non-book related subject, but since it was pretty major I thought I should share the saga with you, my beloved Bookbaggers 🙂

I promise the next update will be much more on-topic and to make up for it here’s some frivolous fun again!

Firstly this frickin’ hilarious Doctor Who parody video I watched today on A Wordless Blogger:

Next this scene from the last episode of Orphan Black because I think it is the most Sarah and I have ever laughed during this show (it’s usually more of an “AHHH what the hell just happened!? Who the hell is this guy?! Is he dodgy? Ah he’s totally dodgy! What is he…? Oh crap!” sort of show than a bundle of laughs):

And lastly this adorable GIF of a red panda which was featured in the Buzzfeed post The 27 Best Red Panda GIFs Of All Time:

red panda stretching

On that note I’m off as this post has become crazy long! Stay tuned for next week’s update but until then goodbye from your kooky Book Polygamist and my old mate Totoro:

goodbye totoro

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One thought on “Challenge Update: Week 5 of Short and Sweet & 1000+ Pages of Epic Fantasy + My Dog Gave Me A Heart Attack

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