About Annie

Welcome to the Curious Mind Garden. My name is Annie, and this is my little patch of cyberspace. I record and write about things that interest me, and I'm never sure what might appear in the future. :)

Review: The Clockmaker’s Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter: A NovelIn the summer of 1862, the creative retreat of a group of young artists at Birchwood Manor on the Upper Thames goes horribly awry. When the dust settles, the fiance of the artist Edward Radcliffe is dead and a famous diamond called the Radcliffe Blue has disappeared, as has Radcliffe’s muse, never to be heard from again. Later, Edward drowns in despair over losing his muse. A century later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist with a story of her own, discovers a picture of one of the group in a beautiful old satchel and feels compelled to discover the story behind the items. From these threads and others, Morton seamlessly weaves the stories of several generations to reveal the magical, spellbinding truth. Morton is a master at pacing and plot, making The Clockmaker’s Daughter nothing less than a complete delight to read.

(Reviewed through Netgalley.)


I’ve got a mile-long list of things I should be doing, but these make me happy. (And they totally count toward my 365 Somethings Project.)

Up close purple and white tulip

Up close pink tulip

Pink and purple tulips

Purple tulips

Purple and white tulips


365 Somethings Project: Update

I can imagine it seems like I’ve fallen off the face of the earth and forgotten the 365 Somethings Project. In fact, that is not the case at all. On the creative front, I am taking a community college class with an excellent poet, Kevin Craft, whose assignments really push me as a poet. I’m also working through daily prompts in the revised Writer’s Book of Days with friends through email whenever I can spare our requisite five minutes. On really, really good days, I’m trying to get in the habit of doing quick sketches per Danny Gregory’s The Creative License.

While all of that fulfills my personal goals for the 365 Somethings Project, it doesn’t make for very interesting blog posts. Hence, my silence. Furthermore, the poetry class combined with the Beach Watcher training that I’m taking with my son isn’t leaving me much free time in a schedule that is already packed with home, hobby farm, and homeschool obligations, especially now that both spring has arrived and the school year is ramping up before it ends. Suffice it to say, it’s a wild world here at the moment.

My best guess at the moment is that I wont post regularly again until after mid-June when my Beach Watcher training and poetry class end, and I can once again pick up some of my more visual creative outlets. That said, I really miss the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, so you never know.

Until the next time!

Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

This week’s challenge: Favorite Place

In my opinion, my entry is a bit generic, but still true. My favorite place is . . . outside. As long as there is fresh air and a modicum on nature, I’m pretty happy.

Seattle on a Sunny Day

365 Somethings Project: Week 13

Much to report on my 365 Somethings Project this week! It was a very good week for discovering small ways to be creative in an otherwise crazily hectic week.

First, Mom’s scarf is coming along nicely. I think I have enough yarn to finish the color pattern and repeat it one more time.

Mom’s Scarf 3

Second, I am a huge fan of Taproot magazine. This weekend I decided to make a couple of dishes out of the Hearth issue. All I can say is that I hardly had time to get photographs before both dishes were gone.

Taproot’s Mushroom Stroganoff

Taproot’s Raspberry Clafoutis

Yesterday, we had a lovely, sunny day here in Seattle, so we took the boys for a two-and-a-half hour walk in the Lake Washington area, which gave me a great opportunity for some lovely spring photographs.

Cherry Tree with Pond

Branch of Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

Seattle on a Sunny Day

Finally, I have been establishing a simple routine at night where I write from a prompt in the revised Writer’s Book of Days and draw from a prompt in The Creative License for just five minutes each. It seems to be working well for me, and I think it’s something I can stick with on even crazy, exhausting days.

So, I’m calling this a good week in terms of creativity!

Book: Daily Writing Resilience

Daily Writing Resilience: 365 Meditations & Inspirations for WritersIn Daily Writing Resilience, Bryan Robinson provides a reading for each day of the year designed to improve a writer’s resiliency. He breaks each reading into three parts: a quotation, advice, and short takeaway. Readings cover topics such as exercise, meditation, breath techniques, stress management, decluttering, and mindful eating. While this book contains sound advice that will improve the well-being of the writer and help him or her to continue in the face of rejection, self doubt, etc., Robinson does not provide specific advice directed to writing itself. In that sense, this book may be of some interest to anyone pursuing a creative endeavor, but if the reader is looking for writing exercises or prompts to get over that latest bout of writer’s block, this may not be the best choice.

(Originally reviewed through Netgalley.)

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: I’d Rather Be. . .

This week’s challenge is: “I’d rather be. . .”

Now that spring has finally arrived, I’d rather . . . hiking!

I’d rather be hiking!