Sunday, October 31, 2010

NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo Oh My

With all of the excitement over Halloween and NaNoWriMo today - I almost forgot about making my blog post. LOL Making it just under the wire and Halloween was a blast with the family.  Now I'm ready for the novel adventure that begins in less than half-an-hour.  That's National Novel Writing Month for any who are wondering.  I will be writing the opening to my novel tonight before I go to bed.  I did the same thing last year and won.  I admit that I'm just superstitious enough to feel I must do this again.

As if NaNoWriMo isn't enough of a fun challenge for the month of November - I'm also going to do NaBloPoMo.  That's National Blog Posting Month - which is a challenge to post in my blog every day in November.  This is fun and shoyldn't be a big deal as I've already done this three times this year (in March, August and now October).  The thing is - I'm taking this on at the same time as NaNoWriMo.  yeah, I think I may be just a tad bit crazy.  Oh well, as I said, I'm certain it will be fun!

Have a wonderful November everyone.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Eve 2010

What are you doing this Halloween Eve? I know a lot of people are going to parties.  Our party has been a family one - spent at home.  We have carved our pumpkin, made minor improvements to costumes and now we're looking for a family-friendly Halloween movie.  Do those exist? Is everything violent and gory? I'm not a prude but I don't want my kids watching that sort of thing.  Oh well.  It's been a really fun evening and tomorrow will be even better.

Is anyone reading anything in honor of the holiday? I don't like to be super scared but I don't mind a little creepy.  That's why I'm reading Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.  So far, I like it.

Whatever you're doing - I hope you're having fun and staying safe.  And now, here is a picture of our 'Happy Vampire Pumpkin'.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Blogger Hop Oct. 29 - Nov. 1: Bookish Dreams

Book Blogger Hop This week's Book Blogger Hop question is:
"What is the one bookish thing you would love to have, no matter the cost?"
There are two different answers to this question for me.  If you've read any recent posts to my blog, or know me in real life, then you know I am a writer.  It is my dream to be a published author.  Of course, I write because I absolutely love to do it but I do want to be published.  Making this dream a reality isn't so much about financial cost as it is perseverance and patience.  I'm confident that I will become published, though.

My second bookish dream is to one day own a home with enough space for my family and a home library.  I want a room with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves (filled with books, of course), windows for lots of natural light and so much comfortable, cozy seating that family and friends will flock to this space.  I want to spend real family and friend time in our own personal library.  Talking amongst one another will be highly encouraged but television and texting of any sort would be banned.  I know I sound like such a throwback but that's completely all right with me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nerves Over Submission Process

As an author, there is nothing more daunting to me than the submission of my work.  That sounds crazy, right? I write all these stories and novels and I talk/write about my hopes for getting them published.  And yet, actually submitting my work makes me very queasy - to the point that I procrastinate it to the extreme.  Case in point: My friend Julia, from the Freelance Writer Blog told me that Penguin UK was accepting unsolicited submissions for a three month period of time.  That is a huge deal in the publishing world.  And if you want to get in on this, you still can - through Sunday.  When did I send in my submission? About two hours ago.  Like I said, I pro-cras-tin-ate! It's awful and I really need to get over my nervousness about submitting my work.

I find myself thinking about the fact that I spent months writing, editing and perfecting my novel.  Then I'm supposed to describe pages and pages worth of a story in a few sentences.  Oh, and let's not forget that I'm asking someone to basically say yes or no to helping me take my dream to the next step.  So far, all I've gotten is no but I'm sure that I'll finally get a yes. 

Obviously, I haven't let my nerves over the process entirely rule me.  I DO query and submit.  It's just really hard.  I can't possibly be the only author who goes through this cycle.  I refuse to let it hold me back but felt the need to whine, er, I mean, blog about it today.  LOL

Thanks for reading and now back to regualr events for the day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In Five Days -

-- the NaNoWriMo adventure begins.  I'm as ready as I can be at this point.  I have a plot, main characters are named and semi-outlined and a setting for the book.  This is a lot more than I had last year at this time.  Actually, this is quite enough for me, too.  I'm a better writer if I allow the story to flow as I'm telling it.  If I have too much of it structured, I feel hampered creatively.  A little odd, I suppose, but true.

I'm really excited to get started.  Although, over the past couple of days, more events have been added to my family's November calendar.  A couple of things I'd like to say no to but I really can't as it would bum out my kids.  So, I'm just going to have to be more stubborn about my writing time than ever.  It's all right though, it's one month.  This adventure can and will be done.  I'm just going to have to be very creative in making the time.

Editing to add: I forgot to mention that I made a playlist for this book.  I am very inspired by music and for some reason, there are always certain songs that I associate with writing my books.  As I've been planning (the bit that I have done) this book, each time I've been inspired by a song, I've added it to my playlist.  I've got 14 songs - it's great.  Oh, and my husband is writing me a theme song for the book.  I found a way for him to be involved in the adventure.  Yay!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Fired Up

Teaser Tuesday's is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read -

Open to a random page -

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser today is from 186 of Jaybe Ann Krentz's Fired Up:

"Harper work is the best," Fallons said simply.  "Always has been.  Family's got a talent for that kind of thing.  Who do you think I use?"

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Number of Books I Own

I'm really late getting to this today but I'm going to participate anyway.  Miz B at Should Be Reading asks:  
About how many books (roughly) would you say you own? (If you don’t have a clue how many, do you care to know? Why, or why not?)
I don't know the exact answer to this question but I'm going to estimate around 500.  I'd love to know just how many I own but a lot of my books are currently packed up in boxes and in the garage.  A lack of space is so annoying.

The number of books used to be significantly higher.  I honestly could not ever part with a book.  It's my dream to someday own a home with enough space for a dedicated library.  I'm determined to  make that dream a reality, too.  Anyhow, after having our first child, my husband convinced me that I had to let go of a large chunk of my books.  I knew he was right but it was a difficult task to undertake.  Still, roughly 500 books is quite a lot.  Hey, it dawns on me that this number is probably close to double when I add in children's books.  Yes, I'm passing my love and addiction for books on to my kids.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Disney Channel was playing 'The Sorcerer's Stone' and 'The Chamber of Secrets' tonight.  My kids have seen bits and pieces of these two movies.  They know the movies are based on books and my oldest is full of questions.  Some of the questions I will answer and some I will not because I just don't think she's ready to know all about the Harry Potter books and movies.  Not that I think there's anything wrong with them; in fact, the books are among my favorites.  I just think some of the details are a little scary for kids.

Anyway, when she was asking questions tonight I thought about the fact that 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' (part 1) is coming out in theatres soon.  November 19th, to be exact.  I freely admit that I always anticipate the movie releases.  While I am definitely looking forward to this one, it is a little bittersweet because it's the last movie.  At least they did it in two parts, though.  I don't think the movie would have done the book justice if they'd shoved it into one movie. 

On the topic of the book - I've decided that I am going to re-read it before I see the movie.  I know this shouldn't be a big deal but for me it is as I don't usually re-read right before seeing one of the HP movies.  I like to let the movie stand on its own - without the book fresh in my mind.  The reason I'm going to alter my habit for this first part of the seventh movie is because I've only read the book once; right when it was first released.  While I know that I loved the book - I was really sad reading it because it was the last one.  Yes, I am very emotional about books and I was/am really attached to the Harry Potter series.  I felt like I was saying goodbye to people I knew all through the Deathly Hallows.  I want to re-read it without that feeling of sadness over it being the last book.  So, over the next few weeks, I'm going to read the Half-Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows.  The sixth book is my favorite in the series and I think that it is very tightly attached to the seventh book - moreso than the rest.  I guess because it sets everything up for the finale.

I'm curious if others will re-read the book before seeing 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' in theatres.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Blogger Hop October 22 - 25: Favorite Reading Spot

Book Blogger Hop This week's Book Blogger Hop question is: 

"Where is your favorite place to read? Curled up on the sofa, in bed, in the garden?"

I love to read in bed! I find it very comforting to be nestled in the blankets and lost in the pages of a book. I prefer it to be quiet but can read while my husband is watching the television. How about you? What's your favorite reading spot?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Books From Other Countries

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading. This weeks question:
Name a book (or books) from a country other than your own that you love. Or aren’t there any?
This is an easy queation.  There are many authors/books that I like from other countries.  I adore Maeve Binchy's books and she's from Ireland.  The first book I can remember reading by her is Tara Road.  Since then I have read almost all of her books.  She makes me feel like I'm in Ireland among the families and fvriends that her stories always revolve around.

I also love the Millenium series by the late Swedish authorStieg Larsson.  I feel like I've posted so much about his series this year that I'll just leave it at the fact that I do adore the books. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: The Gift

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The goal is to spotlight an upcoming release that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication that I can't wait to read is
The Gift
by James Patterson
Release Date: December 13, 2010
Synopsis From
When Whit & Wisty were imprisoned by the wicked forces of the totalitarian regime known as the New Order, they were barely able to escape with their lives. Now part of a hidden community of teens like themselves, Whit and Wisty have established themselves as leaders of the Resistance, willing to sacrifice anything to save kids kidnapped and brutally imprisoned by the New Order.
But the One has other plans in store for them: He needs Wisty, for she is "The One Who Has the Gift." While trying to figure out what that means, Whit and Wisty's suspenseful adventures through Overworld and Shadowland lead to a jaw-dropping climax and conclusion: the highly-anticipated fulfillment of the heart-pounding opening prologue of book one... The Execution of the Allgoods...

This is the second book is Patterson's Witch and Wizard series.  I found the first book entertaining enough that I have been looking forward to reading this one.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NaNoWriMo Is Almost Here

With National Novel Writing Month beginning in thirteen days - I am pleased to report that I have a storyline for my book.  Yes, you hear a sigh of relief from me.  NaNo is enough of a challenge; I don't need to go in themeless, thank you very much.

I had the first spark-of-an-idea for this book a couple of years ago.  I made some notes and played around with it in my head but nothing came of it.  So the idea has sat in my notebook just waiting for my brain to grasp onto it more tightly.  Now that the story has started to grow - I can't wait to actually start writing it.

While I wait for November First, I have been making more notes about my characters and attempting to name them.  You'll notice that I said 'attempting'.  Normally, I have a lot of fun naming my characters but nothing is gelling for me this go around.  There are a few names I like but nothing that is making me feel the connection between character and name.  It's actually rather like naming children.  Obviously not nearly as important but there does have to be a click and a sense of familiarity in the naming process.  For those who have ever named a child - does this scenario sound familiar?

"How about the name Charles?"


"Why not?"

"There was a dude named Charles in my high school Geometry class."


"So, we all called him upChuck, like barf."

"Gross.  No to Charles."

Yes, this is exactly the type of conversation my husband and I had while naming our children.  And yes, it's a very similar thing that goes through my head while naming characters.  So, while I'm anxious for NaNo to start;  I'm glad I still have some time to figure out my names.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Musing Monday's Hardcovers

Musing Monday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading! This week’s question:
Do you prefer hardcovers, trade paperbacks (the bigger ones), or mass market paperbacks (the smaller ones)? Why?
This is a really great question.  There used to be a time when I absolutely preferred the mass paperbook size.  There was no particular reason for it - I just liked the size better.

Now I prefer hardcover books and sometimes trade paperbacks.  I think haedcovers look elegant on the bookshelf.  Plus, as I've gotten slightly older, the print in the hardcover books is a lot easier for me to read.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Blogger Hop Oct. 15 - 18: Stick It Out or Move On

Book Blogger Hop This weeks Book Blogger Hop question is: .
"When you read a book that you just can't get into, do you stick it out and keep reading or move to your next title?"
This really is an excellent question.  I think a lot of readers grapple with this issue.  Personally, if a book doesn't have my attention, for whatever reason, fairly early on - it's probably not going to grab me.  For the most part, I will set the book aside and move on to another one that I want to read.  There are so many great books and so many that I want to read or even re-read, that I just can't spend my time on a book I really don't like or just can't get involved with

Of course, there are a couple of exceptions.  One, if it's a book I've agreed to read and review, I stick it out and then review it.  As a writer, I know how important feedback is to all involved in the process; writer, publisher, booksellers, etc.

Another time I'll make an exception is when someone whose opinion I value tells me it's worth it to stick it out with the book.  I don't always end up agreeing with whomever but more times than not - in these instances - I have been glad that I kept with the book. 

Generally speaking, I do move on, though.  How about you?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesday's: Scarlet Nights

Teaser Tuesday's is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read -

Open to a random page -

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser, from page 9 
"Right, because Stefan left nothing behind, not so much as a fingerprint.  And you know the rule: no evidence, no conviction.  Personally, I'd like to arrest the man right now, but the higher-ups want an undercover operation so we can get the mother."
  As you can see, I'm at the very beginning of this book but it has my attention already. Plus, it helps that this is the third book in a series by an author I like quite a lot. I love the beautiful cover of the book, too.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Read-a-Thon Wrap Up

It's over and I had a great time.  Well, for the most part.  I didn't make it all the way through because I got sick at the beginning of the twentieth hour.  Literally, and I'll spare the details.  My advice for the next one - get more rest leading up to the event.

It truly was something wonderful to be a part of, though.  I was really inspired by the number of people participating, visiting people's blogs, all over the world.  It was truly a community event.

I ended up reading five and-a-half  books.  Four of which were children's books - so quicker to get through.  I loved offering a mini-challenge and participating in a couple of them.  The best part for me was, of course, the reading.  Not just any of the reading but reading to my children.  They knew I was taking part in this and they were so excited leading up to it and all of yesterday.  My oldest child is already talking about the next read-a-thon and wanting to take part at some point.  I've always wanted my kids to love reaidng and this inspired my oldest so I love it all the more.

I will absolutely be participating in the future.  I'd even host another mini challenge if I'm eligible to do so.  Hopefully I'll get some of my friends involved, too.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hour 16 Status Update

Okay, I'm starting to get tired.  I'm not sure how long water, caffeine or food are going to keep me awake.  Oh wait, my husband just brought me a plate of vegetables and ranch.  YUM! This will definitely help me keep going.  Here's an official status update:

Title of book(s) read since last update: Maggie Without a Clue by Kasey Michaels and started Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.  I had to switch to using my Nook because my eyes are tired and I can adjust the font on there.  :)

Number of books read since you started: 6

Pages read since last update: 260

Running total of pages read since you started: 398

Amount of time spent reading since last update: Three hours

Running total of time spent reading since you started: (keep track of this one to be eligible for a prize!) Five Hours

Mini-challenges completed: Participated in the mid-event challenge. I also hosted a challenge which was great fun.

Other participants you’ve visited: Oh wow, many! I spent a lot of time looking at the sites of people who entered my mini-challenge.

Prize you’ve won: None

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now? I’m still reading Maggie Without a Clue by Kasey Michaels

2. How many books have you read so far? 5

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? The Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? My husband agreed to be available and taking care of our children throughout the day.

5. Have you had many interruptions? I’m laughing at this one because the answer is an unequivocal yes! My husband is trying but our kids still seem to want Mommy to see to their needs. I wonder if I should take a weekend off for the next read-a-thon. I’m laughing again. How did you deal with those? As quickly, efficiently and patiently as possible.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? The number of people participating and the spirit of togetherness in this. It’s really wonderful.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No, I love it!

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I’d seriously try to have a mom’s weekend. Maybe I can get a group of friend’s together for this and some adult-girl time.

9. Are you getting tired yet? I was but I drank a huge glass of water and ate something. I feel a lot better now.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Not yet but I would say just have fun. I know I am - even with all the loving interruptions.

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Title Word Scramble

Thank you for coming to participate in my mini-challenge.  So, you know the games you play at Bridal and Baby Showers? I love those games.  I especially love the word scrambles that relate to the event.  When I saw the sign up for mini-challenges I immediately thought it would be so much fun to do a Book Title Word Scramble. 

Unscramble the twenty book titles and then leave a link to your post.  I will choose two winners to receive bookish favor bags as prizes.  Which means, each winner will get one book and other book-related items.  I will ship the prizes anywhere.  As far as I know, the challenge is open for three hours - 5 - 8 p.m. Pacific Time.  If that is not the case, I will find out and pass on the correct information.

The book titles are all fiction (just to make it a little easier).  They are a mix of modern, classic and children's titles.  I want to offer a special thanks to my husband and our oldest child (and one of her friends) for helping me to come up with the titles.

EDITING TO ADD: My mini-challenge is now closed.  I used to select my winners and have e-mailed them to the people in charge at the read-a-thon.  As soon as they announce the winners I'll post them here.  Thank you to all who stopped by to participate.  It was so much fun!

The winners are: Alison at Piling on the Books and Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century! Congratulations! I'll be in touch on your sites.  :)

Enjoy! Here is the list:

1.yfferil enal

2.aste fo eend

3. retwa orf pntshleea

4.ot lkli a ckomgnrbdii

5. het gtaer ysbtag

6. yrhra tetrpo dna eth lyhdtea wollsah

7. ht e rat fo nrgcai ni eht nair

8.eth mite reslveart efwi

9. eht rlig ithw eht gnodar ooattt

10.ydira fo a mypiw idk

11.a kwrlnei ni emit

12. het rpoal sxprese

13.vole dewlak ni

14.reehw eth dwli hingts rea

15.eht ginnhsi

16.dnohogigt oonm

17. vwtienrie hwti a pvmarie

18. eht cretse file fo eesb

19. eht raesch

20. het pelh

Hour 9 Update

Here's what I've done since my last post a couple of hours ago:

Title of book(s) read since last update: Maggie Without a Clue by Kasey Michaels, Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes, When Autumn Falls by Kelli Nidey, Dewey’s Christmas at the Library by Vicki Myron and Bret and Junie B., First Grader (at last!) by Barbara Park  Yes, I read several children's books to my kids.  They count in my book.  Plus, this is encouraging my kids love of reading and I'm all for that.

Number of books read since you started: 5

Pages read since last update: 138

Running total of pages read since you started: Not positive as I wasn’t keeping track until a couple of hours ago

Amount of time spent reading since last update: An hour-and-a-half

Running total of time spent reading since you started: (keep track of this one to be eligible for a prize!) 3 hours

Updates Along the Way

Oops - I just went to check out Dewey's Read-a-Thon site and apparently people write posts about their progress throughout the day.  I knew I'd be making post, but I didn't know people did it from hour one.  I am unashamedly going to use being a first-timer as my excuse for not doing this.  LOL

I am still reading Mggie Without a Clue by Kasey Michaels.  I'd only read about two chapters in it since I started it a couple of days ago.  So I feel it's an acceptable choice for me to start the read-a-thon.  Also, I made Cranberry Orange muffins with my kids.  I know, that's not reading, but hey, they are delicious.  Plus, my kids are happy and not feeling left out.

I'm going back to my book and will be back later with a better update.  And of course, there's still my mini-challenge at 4 p.m. Pacific.

I hope everyone is having a great day!

Read-a-Thon & My New Button

It is finally the day of Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon.  Yay! I am so excited! I meant to be asleep by now but I got obsessed (yes, that is the right word) with making a button for this here blog.  Please feel free to grab it (from this post or the left sidebar) and add it to your blog.  A great big, huge thanks to my friend Julia, whose post helped me figure out how to do this in the first place.  If you want to make a simple but elegant button,  visit her wonderful blog post on this topic: Julia's Awesome Blog Button Directions

Now, I'd better get some sleep so I can actually participate in the read-a-thon.  Speaking of the which - I am hosting a mini challenge here at 4 p.m. Pacific Time.  Hope to see you then.

Finally, the button:


Have a great day/weekend!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: October 8 - 11; Drink Choice

Book Blogger Hop It's time for the Book Blogger Hop again.  I had so much fun doing this last week that I just had to participate again.  This week's question is:
What's your favorite beverage while reading or blogging, if any? Is it tea, coffee, water, a glass of wine, or something else?
What I drink while blogging, reading or writing depends upon my mood and the weather outside.  That being said, I do tend to go for coffee most often.  I'm trying to drink more water, as well.

That was a fun and easy question.  What's your drink of choice?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Two More Days --

-- Until Dewey's Read-a-Thon.  I can say that I am finally ready for it.  It helps tremendously that I am out of my reading rut.  Thank Goodness! I find it frustrating and a little depressing to be in a reading rut.  I need to have a book ready to go when I'm done with one.  When I can't get into something new it throws me off.  Oh well, I'm over it for now.  A trip to the library helped immensely.  I have several books to choose from for Saturday.  I just hope I'm in the mood for them at the time.  I even got a few children's book to read to my kids during the day.  Yes, as far as I'm concerned they will count.  Fortunately, my kids love books and being read to - so it won't be an unusual way for us to spend time together.  I'm hoping they'll want to do read-a-thons with me in the future.

I am also ready for my mini challenge.  It was fun putting it together.  I'm really looking forward to Saturday.  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Editing to add: SNACKS! I didn't even think about snacks.  I was at another blog and they mentioned this and I thought, good idea.  While there's part of me that thinks chips and salsa would be amazing - I feel like I should go for healthier options.  Hmm - maybe both.  That's what moderation is for, right?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Indulgence In Death

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine.  The goal is to spotlight an upcoming release that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication that I can't wait to read is:

Indulgence In Death
by J.D. Robb
Release Date: November 2, 2010

From Publishers Weekly:
Lt. Eve Dallas of the New York Police and Security Department returns home from a long overdue Irish vacation to a string of bizarre murders in Robb's thrilling 32nd future cop novel (after Fantasy in Death). The crossbow killing of chauffeur Jamal Houston in his limo in a La Guardia parking lot is followed by the death of high-rent prostitute Ava Crampton, found at Coney Island's House of Horrors stabbed with a bayonet. Other victims include Luc Delaflote, a celebrity chef who's harpooned, and Adrianne Jonas, "a facilitator for the rich" strangled with a handmade bullwhip. Eve, assisted by her trustworthy sidekicks, Det. Delia Peabody and husband Roarke, uncovers a wicked game that grows increasingly macabre. Robb (the pseudonym of Nora Roberts) keeps the reader squirming as Eve and company try to avoid dying in weird ways themselves.

I am a huge fan of this series.  While I admit that a few of the books have been rather gruesome for me to read - J.D. Robb's style and amazingly strong characters always bring me back for more.  If you like mystery/crime drama set in the not-too-far-off future - I highly recommend the 'In Death' series.  This is the 32nd installment though, so I'd suggest starting with the first book - Naked In Death.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Things To Do In October --

Also known as, projects I want/need to finish before NaNoWriMo begins.  In no particular order, my to-do list is as follows:

1. Finish last year's NaNovel.  This novel has been driving me crazy in recent months.  I want to finish it before this year's adventure begins.  However, I also need to finish it because my novel for 2010 is loosely tied to the 2009 one.  I won NaNo last year with 53,700 words and then barely touched the book for months.  It was weird to me but I was just burned out on the story, I guess.  Then, during the summer, I was writing it again and then hit another wall.  I only have about ten percent of the story left to tell.  I even know what is going to happen in the book.  And yet, every time I sit down to finish the darn thing - nothing comes out the way I want it to.  It's very frustrating and I know I'm being whiny about it.  Sigh.

2. Submit to Penguin U.K.  I learned about this from my friend Julia at Find Your Next Good Read.  Penguin is accepting unsolicited work through October 31st.  I have a non-NaNo manuscript that I have been shopping around to submit here.  I just have to write the query letter and submit.  I'll be doing that this week.

3. This Saturday is Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon.  I am participating in this and very excited about doing so.  I am also hosting a mini-challenge for the read-a-thon between 4 and 6 p.m Pacific time.  So I also need to prepare my challenge.  I should say finish preparing it.  My husband and our oldest daughter helped me get it started on Sunday.  Thank goodness for a wonderful, understanding family.

4. Do a plot line and possibly a character analysis for the new NaNovel.

5. If I find time amongst all of this and the daily family responsibilities - I'm going to enter a short story contest.

I wonder if I'm a little crazy.  Actually, I'm pretty sure I am but that;s just part of being a creative writer.  At least that's what I'm telling myself and my family and friends.  I wouldn't have it any other way, though.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Typically British Reading Challenge 2010

Yes, I know it's October.  Yes, I am well aware that 2010 is slightly over seventy-five percent complete.  I just found this challenge, though.  I simply can not resist participating.  I adore books that are set in Britain.  I adore most of the British authors whom I have read.  So yes, I am going to take this challenge on.  I'm not certain how many British authors I'll read by the end of the year but I'll have fun doing this.

If you're so inclined to share - who is/are your favorite British author(s)?

Here is the original post from Book Chick City if you want to jump in late, as well:

Timeline: 1st Jan 2010~ 31st Dec 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.


1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

2. There are four levels:
• "Put The Kettle On" – Read 2 Typically British novels.

• "Gordon Bennett" – Read 4 Typically British novels.

• "Bob's Your Uncle" – Read 6 Typically British novels.

• "Cream Crackered" – Read 8 Typically British novels.

3. Any book format counts. Must be fiction not non-fiction.

4. You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront then you can change them, nothing is set in stone!

5. The books you choose can crossover into other challenges.

6. If you decide to participate in this challenge please use the link I have set up below with the button to post on your sidebar, this way others can find their way back to this post and join in the fun.

7. If you decide to join this challenge be sure to create a post telling others, please make sure you add a link back to this post so others can join in.

8. There will be a place for you to link your reviews, but this is optional.

9. Obviously only British authors count!

MM: Cozy Books and Weather

Musing Monday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading! This week’s question:
What’s your favorite “cozy” book — and, by that, I’m meaning “curl-up-on-a-cold-day comfort read“? Or, if you don’t have a particular book, what genre do you most feel like reading when the weather starts to turn colder?
I don't really have one favorite book to read when the weather turns cold.  Of course, I live in Southern California and don't have a lot of cold weather anyway.  It is raining today though and I love it.  Anyway, I do love mysteries and romance.  I find that I want to read more of both at this time of year.  I think that's because the holidays are approaching and I always feel sentimental. thus the romance. 

As for the mysteries - what better way to spend October? I don't like being so scared that I have bad dreams (yes, that happenes to me).  However, I don't mind being a little spooked.  And I love solving puzzles so mysteries really suit me.

I think it's time to grab some coffee and the mystery I've just begun. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

NaNoWriMo Fast Approacheth

What in the world - some of you may be asking - is NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month and it occurs each year November 1st - November 30th.  During the thirty days you are challenged to turn off the ever-annoying internal editor and pound out a 50,000 word novel.  Well, the first draft of said novel. 

Last year was the first time I took on the NaNoWriMo challenge.  I'm happy to say I finished off November 2009 with 53,700 words toward a brand new novel.  As of now, I still have about ten percent of that book to complete.  More on this in a near-future post.

I have never experienced anything like NaNo in my life.  Obviously I loved it because I am definitely participating again this year.  It's an exhilerating, chaotic, eye opening, amazing thirty days.  Every moment spent working on my novel - whether alone or at a write-in with a group of writers - was worth it.

I can't say enough wonderful things about the NaNoWriMo experience.  If you've ever thought you wanted to write a book - I encourage you to join the fun and the madness in November.  The feeling of accomplishment when you reach your 50,000 words is brilliant.  Go on, sign up.  I promise, you have nothing to lose.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

One Week Until the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon is in one week.  I am very excited about it.  I'm sure that's no shock, though.  24 hours of reading and blogging bliss.  All right, it won't really be a full 24 hours for me but I promise I'm going to try really hard to make it through the entire event.

I'm thinking about the books I want to read during the event.  I have no idea what I should have at the ready for next Saturday.  In fact, I'm experiencing a bit of a reading rut.  This happens to me once or twice a year.  I'll finish a book (in this case, the last of Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson) and then find that I just can not get involved in a new book.

I need to get over this rut in time to do the Read-a-Thon.  My family knows I'm participating in this event.  My husband has even agreed to take our kids for lunch and a lengthy playdate so I can do this.  I guess if I'm still in this funk next Saturday, I'll read some of my favorite books.  That wouldn't be a bad thing but I am hoping to read some new material.

Any suggestions for the Read-a-Thon reading pile?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: October 1 - 4, 2010

Once again I found a really cool blog/event from Find Your Next Good Read.  Thanks Julia!

It's a Book Blogger Hop!  Book Blogger Hop It's hosted at a site that is new to me - Crazy for Books.

This weeks question is: This is an extremely timely question as I am in the process of trying to make my blog more noticable.  I started my blog because I love books, plain and simple.  I wanted a place to write about my love of books and my process in writing my own books.  Then I realized there is an entire culture of book bloggers.  It's wonderful and beautifully inspiring. 
"How do you spread the word about your blog? (e.g. Social Networking sites, Book Blog Directories, comments on other blogs...)"

So, in the hope of getting the word out about my blog I joined Twitter (just this week, as a matter of fact).  I have also started getting more involved with the challenges, memes, etc. that occur at other book blogs.  My main love is for the books but I do enjoy the blogs - a lot.  And I'd like my own take on the book world to be out there, too.