September Reading List – Review

If you read my goals post at the beginning of the month you know that I set up a list of books to read in September. Six of them to be precise. Today is the last day of September and I have gotten through four and a half of them. I never did get to Shakespeare’s Othello, but considering that I haven’t been in the mood to read a play lately, its okay. Since I’m not very good at detailed reviews, for now I’m doing a monthly wrap-up of my literary adventures.

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The House of the Seven Gables, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I already knew I liked Hawthorne’s writing, so its no surprise that I enjoyed reading this book. It was a little slow and confusing to start off with, but once it got going I loved it. Obviously, considering when it was written, the reading level is a bit higher than modern literature. The characters had real depth and genuine problems that resonated with me. Definitely a good read!

Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey. Here is where the half a book comes in… I’m afraid that I just did not have the will to finish this one. There were too many characters and many of the names were very similar and therefore confusing. At the beginning, the plot was interesting and I liked the MC but then the story began rambling, I lost the train of the plot, and finally laid it down about two-thirds done. I didn’t even much care about the ending. I wanted to like this book and maybe somebody out there does, but it wasn’t for me.

The Bride, by Julie Garwood. This book was everything I wanted it to be: a (mostly) light romance that had a tendril of seriousness and reality, but overall was just fun and made me smile. Oh, and there were Scottish guys. A relaxing and enjoyable read!

Of Poseidon, by Anna Banks. Of all three series that I started this month, this is the only one I plan on continuing. It was relatively easy reading, clean, original, and had a good mix of fun and reality. Of Triton is the second book and will be on my October reading list!

The Lost Prince, by Julie Kagawa. Also the start of another series, but one that I won’t be continuing for some time. The plot was intriguing, the story was fairly well told, but overall it wasn’t as clean as I would have liked and the MC wasn’t as deep as she could have been.

What did you read in September? Have you read any of the books I did and what did you think of them?

Share Your World 2014 – Week 36

I’m really enjoying these weekly questions, thanks to Cee for putting them up!

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Do you prefer reading coffee table books (picture), biographies, fiction, non-fiction, educational?

I definitely prefer fiction (which is why I write it!), but educational are a close second. Never thought about it, but its the truth!

What is your biggest fear or phobia? 

Cee said not to give photos for this question, for which I am very grateful for. I have no desire to go looking for or getting my own picture of a nasty spider. I can handle arachnids up until they get about an inch across and then they become terrifying. And the longer their legs, the more frightening.  *shudder*

What is your favorite cheese?

I really wish I had a solid answer to this question, but I don’t. I just have not sampled enough cheese to really have a favorite, but I really do love good provolone and a mild chedder.

What is your favorite month of the year?

December. It is such a cheery month. Everything is coming to a close at the end of the year, there are parties and hot chocolate and celebrations. I love December.  :-)

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am very grateful for all the support I received from family and friends last week. They may not all realize how much they did, but it really helped me stay strong.

I am looking forward to settling into a better routine with less stress in it. Hopefully it happens this week.

This week’s favorite answers:

Notes From the Fog

My Other Blog

Silently Heard Once

What is your favorite kind of book?

Weekly Goals: Determination

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

~Henry Ford

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Last Monday I wrote both about my goals for the month as well as for the week. Overall, last week was successful, at least in most areas.

  • Print off part of my Rebellion manuscript to start editing on.  2 chapters have been completed. Hopefully more than that will get done this week, but its a start!
  • Pick up books at the library.  Done.
  • Read The House of the Seven Gables.  I’m halfway through, so not nearly where I had wanted to be already.
  • Schedule a time with my piano teacher.  Not scheduled yet, but we did discuss times and I’m waiting on an email from her now.
  • Start reading short stories and making notes.  I’ve made good headway into this project already.
  • Write 4 blog posts for the week.  Done.

For this week:

  • Complete up to chapter 10 in editing Rebellion.
  • Add six short stories to the “official” collection that I am making.
  • Write at least 4 blog posts this week. Hopefully 5.
  • Finish reading The House of the Seven Gables.
  • Read Dragonflight.

What goals are you making for this week?  How do you plan to succeed?

Taking Stock 002

I’m definitely making this a weekly feature, I love it so much!

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Making :  Rice cracker and cream cheese sandwiches for snack later.
Cooking :  Nothing at the moment, but I would love to cook some pasta!
Drinking :  Ice water.
Reading:  The House of the Seven Gables, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Wanting:  To stay home today.
Looking:  At maps.
Playing:  Around with a new story idea.
Deciding:  Whether or not I should dry my hair.
Wishing:  That it was already fall and not so hot during the day.  :(
Enjoying:  The cool mornings – so strange for summer here.
Waiting:  For my last textbook to arrive.
Liking:  The strange jazz music playlist that I found to listen to.
Wondering:  Why people are so mean to each other sometimes.
Loving:  The idea of going swimming this afternoon.
Pondering:  Whether I should name my main character Jasmine or Cassandra.
Considering:  Giving the waiter a backstory.
Watching:  Merlin.  Still.
Hoping:  That there is some sort of ice cream involved at some point today.
Marveling:  At the strange amount of grasshoppers still around!
Needing:  Chocolate.  Always need chocolate.
Smelling:  Mint.
Wearing:  Pajamas and a towel on my head.  Yes.  o.O
Following:  My blog stats.  Love them!
Noticing:  The time.  Eeek.
Knowing:  That work is going to be busy today. Fun, fun.
Thinking:  About my lovely horseback ride this morning.
Feeling:  More than a little pleased.
Admiring:  The courage of some people. It amazes me.
Sorting:  Through pictures from last weekend.
Buying:  More novels!
Getting:  Said novels in the mail.
Bookmarking:  Character sketch ideas.
Disliking:  My villain.  Obviously.
Opening:  New emails.
Giggling:  out of glee that I have my homework done for the weekend.
Feeling:  Not as productive as I felt at the beginning of the week.

 

Facing Fear

Even though I proudly call myself a writer, there are many times when it happens that I don’t write. For several days, even several weeks or a month sometimes.  In all reality, my title lately should be “blogger” instead of “writer” because I spend most of my writing time putting together posts for both this blog and my horse adventures.

It’s hard to admit, but sometimes I just don’t feel like writing. I get afraid of writing something bad. I get distracted by homework or other chores. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

But it does happen and more often than I would like to.

Even though I have less-than-enthusiastic feelings about the hugely popular movie Frozen, I thoroughly enjoyed this article from Writer Unboxed, linking the song Let It Go into a discussion about not writing because of fear and self-imposed limits.

The author’s words resonated with me because too often I find myself logging into Pinterest instead of opening a Word document, or getting a bowl of ice cream and turning on the next episode of my latest favorite tv show instead of editing another chapter of my novel.  Whoops.

While I was struggling to finish and win Camp NanoWrimo in July, I had a burst of inspiration for a totally new story. You can read a little about my journey into that in this post that I wrote about new things, but in the last week or so I’ve started struggling with this new project as well.

I have character sketches, a basic outline, bad-guy-motivation, pages of research, more or less everything I need to start writing. But I’m scared of… you guessed it… starting.

That’s my confession, and I’m sure you have your own similar things. But how do we get across that hurdle?

In that article from Writer Unboxed, the author, Anna Elliot, wrote, “Letting go of our own fears can mean writing fearlessly… writing without fear that we’ll make mistakes, without worry that we’ll never be good enough or amount to anything.”

Substitute “living” for “writing” in that quote, or any other word you choose. Either way, it is very true. When we’re afraid of what others think, or of making mistakes, all we do is hold ourselves back from true potential.

I don’t know about you, but I’m off to open up that Word document and get started on my new story! Then, and only then, do I get ice cream and Pinterest!  Let me know in the comments below how you plan to overcome your fear, or if you’re brave enough, tell me what your fear is!

Share Your World 2014 – Week 35

I am excited to participate in Share Your World again this week, and really like the questions this week!
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Have your blogging goals changed?

In some ways, yes. I started off thinking that I needed to promote my own work, but I’ve learned since how important the community is, and how to offer something that someone else might want or need. Overall my focus has changed into wanting to share what I have to offer and connect with other like-minded people, so yes, my goals had changed.

If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?

To some people reading this, my answer is no surprise. I would definitely be standing on top of a moving horse. The trapeze artist fascinates me, but I am terrified of heights, so that would not work, although it would be super neat.

If you could go back and talk to yourself at age 18 what advice would you give yourself?  Or if you are younger than 25 what words of wisdom would you like to tell yourself at age 45?

I am younger than 25, so the words of wisdom I would like to give myself at 45 are “Laugh more”, “Look past the everyday into the magical”, and “Always see the good in people.” These are things I try to do now already and without them, life isn’t all that great.

Day 12

What is your favorite comfort snack food?

Chocolate in almost any form. Or ice cream. I’m always in the mood for either of those!

Bonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

From this last week I am grateful for lots of things, not least of all that I had a good day with my family playing in the river yesterday and everyone made it home safe and sound. I am also grateful that the first week of school went well. This week I am really looking forward to diving headlong into my goals for this month as well as taking more walks with my dog now that I discovered he loves to ride in the car with me and then go walking/running with me! Makes me happy!

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I found a tiny egg from our little bantam hen! So cute.

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The first box of books that I ordered last week arrived today!

I loved reading some other people’s responses to Cee’s questions and am leaving some links for you to enjoy. Also, a question! Many of you responded favorably to my post about motivation some time ago, and one of today’s questions echoes that post. I really want to know – what is YOUR favorite, comfort snack food, or do you have one?

Wanderings of an Elusive Mind

Mad Meandering Me

The German Perspective

A New Day Dawns