Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015


Stay safe as you celebrate the passage of one year to the next. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Worless Wednesday: Tulips

 
Tulips - my favorite flower! I want to go wherever this gorgeous picture was taken.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 118 of The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell.

"What do you think Dad and Grandma would make of all this? What do you think they would say if they knew all of it was actually real?"

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Special Reading Plan for 2016

My children have implemented part of my reading plan for 2016. Since they have become Independent Readers they haven’t wanted me to read to them all that much. It was with mixed emotions that I had to accept that. On one hand I am so proud of their ability to read but on the other it was so sad to say goodbye to reading to them. It was something I cherished so much! Well, it turns out that I get to read to them again!

As you may know Barnes and Noble offered many books signed by the authors right after Thanksgiving. I got my daughter a signed copy of The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer. She was so thrilled about it on Christmas morning. That night she asked me if I would read the beginning of it to her and her sister. The next night she asked me to read some more of it. That night they asked me if I would read them the entire book – at least a chapter each night. I enthusiastically said yes! Since then we have been reading it – or rather I have been reading it to them. And we are all loving the book so much! This book is the first in a series and my kids have asked me to read the entire thing to them – a little bit each night. They also asked if I would read them the Harry Potter series after this one is done. So, it appears I will once again be reading to my children each night at bed time. I am thrilled by this development and it seems they are, too. I think – and hope – that it will be a wonderful bonding experience between the three of us.

 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: The Mistletoe Inn by Richard Paul Evans

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 25 of The Mistletoe Inn by Richard Paul Evans:

I needed a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I needed something to look forward to.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays - Tribute by Nora Roberts (2)

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 116  of Tribute by Nora Roberts:

"You found letters in the attic? Like secret letters? Man, this is like one of those BBC mystery shows."

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night)

 
My family and I love the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This is a song that we hadn't heard, though. It came up on one of our Pandora Christmas channels the other day and my kids and I were immediately in love with this song. It's fun and festive at the same time. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: Tribute by Nora Roberts

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 29 of Tribute by Nora Roberts:

"I'm in my grandmother's house, which you sold to me. And you can't have it back."

Monday, November 30, 2015

Musing Mondays: Currently reading

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
Tonight I will be starting a re-read of Tribute by Nora Roberts. I am also reading a Chicken Soup for the Soul book on Christmas Cheer.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Santa Yoda

 
Here he is - the very cool Santa Yoda my husband bought the other night at Disneyland! My whole family loves him. My husband says he is going to put him on as our Christmas tree topper this year. I'm not sure that will work but I hope it does. LOL

NaNoWriMo Win

 
I technically 'won' NaNoWriMo on the 18th but didn't validate my win until this morning. So now it is official. Of course, after writing my post yesterday about feeling burned out I woke up this morning ready to write and full of ideas. Isn't that always the way. LOL

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Burned Out

I am so burned out. For the past few days I have been sitting down to write fiction and nothing good comes out of me. I am starting to accept that I may need a break from the actual writing. Rather than feeling bummed out by this I feel relieved. I was thinking about this earlier tonight and began to feel really anxious. This is not the way I want to feel in regard to writing which is something I normally really love.

I’ve decided to cut myself a break and not force the fiction. I have still been writing each day but it has been more ponderings. I will still try to write something each day but I am going to focus my attention on revisions. It’s not my favorite part of the process but it is a necessary part. So, I am going to spend my daily writing time in revision. I’m sure this will put me back on track to writing new stories.

Plus, I have to admit that my attention has definitely turned to the holiday season. I have a few Christmas presents that I am making and want to finish up. There’s also the shopping, wrapping and baking to be done. There is decorating, too. That’s not to mention my family’s love of Christmas reading and movies. While all of this stuff is admittedly fun it is also time consuming. It’s all good, though. This is my favorite time of the year. It’s okay to take a break or shift some things on the priority list. What really matters, after, all, is friends and family. They’re the people who make life wonderful. Scheduling everything around them is perfectly all right with me.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Four weeks to go

Until Christmas! I can't believe that we are already in the Christmas season. In some ways this year dragged but for the most part it feels as if it has flown by. Of course, these last five weeks of the year do fly by what with Christmas and New Year's. Still, I thoroughly love the holidays and all the fun the season has to offer. It is even more magical to me as a parent than it was before.

Today, my kids and I started organizing and rearranging our living room in order to decorate. A few little things have already gone up. Tomorrow I hope to get the lights up and a few more decorations put around our home. Oh, and my husband bought a Yoda Santa Claus the other night at Disneyland. Yes, Yoda as Santa. he is awesome! I'll have to get a picture of him to share on here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: No Christmas Like the Present by Sierra Donovan

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 10 of No Christmas Like the Present by Sierra Donovan:

"No, no Miss Miller, you misunderstand. I came because I was told you've been missing out on the Spirit of Christmas..."

Monday, November 23, 2015

Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon

Last night when I was blogging about Christmas reading I thought about the fact that there is a blog I adore called The Christmas Spirit. It is exactly what it sounds like, things related to what makes this such a special time of year for a lot of people. So I went there a little while ago and Michelle, the woman behind this fabulous blog, is having a Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon that started today and runs through the 30th. Talk about great timing! Plus, I just started a Christmas book by Sierra Donovan called No Christmas Like the Present.

It's a fun and easy Read-a-Thon that asks that you read at least one Christmas themed book. You don't even have to have a blog to participate. You can use #CSreadathon and join in on Twitter, Facebook or GoodReads. That's it, easy and fun. I'm definitely in!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Christmas Reading

Do you enjoy reading holiday themed books? I do! I know that part of the happiness at this time of year for me is reading Christmas books! I look forward to pulling out our copies of The Polar Express, The Night Before Christmas, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to name just a few. I know my children look forward to this, as well.

A few years ago (five, to be exact) I did a readalong of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I think I am going to read the book again this year. I will offer to read it to my children and see if they are interested in hearing the book. They love the different movie adaptations. Perhaps they're ready for the book. I'll try and find out.

I am also a sucker for a good Christmas time romance. They are so delightful to read. In my opinion they are perfect for this joyful (but busy) time of year.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

NaNoWriMo Goal Achieved

I have reached my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) goal for 2015. I hit the 50,000 word mark last night. This is my seventh year participating and I have to say that it is as exciting to reach that goal as it was in 2009 when I first took on this challenge. There’s just something to be said about having such a big goal and meeting it.

I am not done with my novel for the month, though. I want to have this first draft completed by the end of this month. So I am continuing to write every day. Of course, I do that regardless of whether it is November or May or any other month of the year. Writing every day is so natural for me now that I feel as if my day isn’t complete if I haven’t written by early evening. It may sound a little odd but it’s true nonetheless.

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo – how is it going for you? There’s still plenty of time to finish – so keep going. And remember, every word counts!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: Do You Believe in Santa? by Sierra Donovan

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 115 of Do You Believe in Santa? by Sierra Donovan:

As secrets went, it could be so much worse. She didn't have a husband lurking around or a baby he didn't know about. She could have been a felon.

She just believed in Santa Claus.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Musing Mondays: Currently reading

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What has been your most favorite book, so far, this year? Why?

I'm probably going to use this random question for a post later in the week because I think it is a great question. For now I'd like to share that I am reading two books; Do You Believe in Santa by Sierra Donovan and Brain Maker by David Perlmutter, MD. The first is sweet and romantic and a Christmas book. The second is a heavier read as it is about curing brain ailments (or at least improving them) through eating more healthfully.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Meeting a goal

I wrote yesterday about wanting to reach 40,000 words toward my National Novel Writing Month goal by today. I am pleased to report that not only did I reach this goal I surpassed it. I am over 41,000 words as of right now. Yay!

So hopefully I will indeed reach 50,000 words by Friday as I would like to. As I said I want to be at the NaNoWriMo goal by the time my kids go on vacation on Friday afternoon.

I have a couple of other goals going on this month (Christmas related) that I am on track with as well. So here's hoping all continues to go well.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hoping to break 40k this weekend

As I sit down to write this blog post I have reached 36,468 words on this year’s NaNoWriMo adventure. My goal is to reach the fifty thousand words by this Friday, November 20th. I’m certain I can do that especially if I make this weekend’s goal of achieving the 40,000 word mark. Why the rush? As of Friday afternoon (the 20th) my children will be on a well-deserved week long vacation from school in order to celebrate Thanksgiving. Of course, I will still write each day as that is my habit but I want to have reached my 50k for NaNoWriMo. That way, anything I write (I usually aim for about 1,200 words per day) will be bonus words over the 50k. And hey, maybe I will still write at least 1,667 words per day but if I don’t at least I’ll have reached my November goal. I’m going to do that by reaching the 40k mark by end of day tomorrow – Sunday.

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo how is it going for you?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Encouraging my kids to create

Since it is November it is a month of all-out writing for me. Anyone reading my blog knows I am a big supporter of NaNoWriMo. In recent years my children have taken quite an interest in what I am writing and the process of actually creating a short story or a novel. It is an exciting feeling to have their interest but it is also one filled with responsibility.

So I decided to have them write their own stories. I have one child who is extremely interested in the actual words involved in telling a story. The other is interested in the illustrations. So I am encouraging them to work together and write and illustrate a story. I am excited to see what they come up with.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 147 of Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts:

"I've never thought you weak, not for a moment. I hope you've stopped thinking of yourself that way."

Monday, November 9, 2015

Musing Mondays: Currently reading Stars of Fortune

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you review books? If so, who do you review for? If not, was it by choice? Why?

I am currently reading the latest by Nora Roberts - Stars of Fortune. This book came out last Tuesday but I wasn't able to start it until Friday. I am just over one quarter of the way through the book. I want to gobble it down in one greedy bite. Yes, it is that good. I have a lot going on and have only been able to read a little bit of it at a time, though. I know this is a good thing because when I am done with this book I will want (probably desperately) the next book in the series. It's not out yet, of course. According to GoodReads it is called Bay of Sighs and its expected release date is June 14, 2016. Months! So yeah, I'm loving Stars of Fortune but trying not to rush through it. How do you think I'll do with that? LOL

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Excited for the Holidays

I am excited for the holidays. I will acknowledge right now that I know Thanksgiving is first. I like Thanksgiving and so do my husband and children. We like the time we spend together and with extended family. I’d say we’re a pretty thankful family on a daily basis but it is nice to share in that thankfulness with extended family and friends. So yes, Thanksgiving is first and we are looking forward to it. I know my kids really look forward to the week off from school. Actually, I do too because I love having them home with me.

Now, having acknowledged that Thanksgiving is indeed first, my husband surprised the heck out of me today. He called and said, “Let’s start decorating for Christmas.” I honestly blinked and looked at my phone to be sure of our connection. When I asked what he laughed and repeated himself. My husband likes Christmas but he does not ever want our kids and I to put up a single decoration until the weekend after Thanksgiving. So fo him to have this change of heart is big. And exciting! Our daughters and I would truthfully leave Christmas lights up inside our home all year long if we thought we could get away with it. We LOVE Christmas and all the decorations and music and movies. I put a little fake tree in my daughters’ room the other day and they were giddy with happiness. So now, the idea of starting to put out the rest of the decorations is amazing. Of course, we won’t put up our tree yet. We can’t even if we wanted to because we get a real tree and they aren’t being sold yet. Plus, I wouldn’t want it to be dea by the time December arrived. So, with the exception of the tree we are going to decorate our home for Christmas this week. I am perfectly all right having Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations out at the same time.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Writing Sprints

For the majority of today I did not feel like writing. This is not a good thing for me on any given day. It is an especially bad thing during the month of November while I am participating in NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. The objective there is to write 1,667 words per day to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month. Yes, I am ahead in my word count and should reach the 50k level without a problem but still, daily writing. It is a habit of mine and one I want to keep up with always. However, today, I simply could not drudge up any interest in writing. I did know that I would be meeting a friend on Twitter tonight to do some word sprints, though.

So, I spent the day hanging out with one of my daughters while the other spent the day with my husband. We all had some one on one family time and came back together tonight. The daughter I spent today with wasn't feeling the greatest, though. So she and I stayed home, slept in and watched television together. We talked and laughed and she introduced me to a couple of mermaid shows she likes on Netflix. I also took her to Starbucks for a Frappuccino. I am happy to report that she is feeling better tonight and we had a very pleasant day together.

And I have written over two thousand words tonight. I met my friend on Twitter and she had another group of writer friends and we all did some sprinting together. It has been great. And of course, I always love making new writer friends - whether in-person or online! :) Now I am off to sprint with them again. Hopefully this can become a regular thing and not just a November thing. How cool would that be?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Secret Santa at the Broke and the Bookish

bookish secret santaThe Broke and the Bookish are putting on their 6th Annual Secret Santa event. I’ve known about this event in the past but for one reason or another haven’t been able to participate. I was determined that this year I would. You have through the 12th of November to sign up if you’d like to participate, as well. It’s a fun event where you get to play Santa for someone and send off a book or two and a little treat. I think it will be fairly easy but a lot of fun at the same time. After the sign-up date (Nov. 12th) people will be paired up and then you mail your Secret Santa gifts by December 15th. So, if you want to join in on the fun follow the link and learn all of the details.



 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 137 of The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz:

Then she read Blomkvist's message again. He needed help and without thinking twice she wrote, "Ok." Not only because he was asking her but because it was personal.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Musing Mondays: The Girl in the Spider's Web

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme put on at A Daily Rhythm that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Have you ever chosen a book, mostly because of its cover art, and then regretted it because the content didn’t live up to your expectations?

I am currently reading The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz. This is the fourth book in the once wildly popular Millennium series by Stieg Larsson. For those who don't know, Larsson passed away right after turning in the third book but he had most of a fourth book written and on his laptop. There was a long legal battle as to who retained the rights to that book - Larsson's longtime fiancé or his father and brother.

I honestly don't know if The Girl in the Spider's Web is the book that Larsson had written before his death or if it is completely written by Lagercrantz. I do know that I have been very anxious to read this book. I'm a couple of chapters in and definitely enjoying it. I only have it for one more week from the library, though. I hope I can finish it in time.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

First day of November

The first of November is an exciting day for me. For one thing, I thoroughly enjoy the excitement my children have about going through all of their Halloween candy. It is so fun to see them spread it all out (on the living room floor this morning) and take a tally of what they have. Then, of course, they start trading. I have one child who can't eat nuts and dislikes coconut. So she trades her sister all of that sort of candy for stuff she does like - Twix, crunch and Kit Kat being the forerunners. It makes me smile to see them do this because I like seeing them work together (now to achieve this with their actual chores) and it reminds me of my brother and I at their age. We had so much fun going through and trading our Halloween loot.

Another reason I love November first is because it is the official start to National Novel Writing Month (NaNowriMo). I have already achieved my word count goal for today, which is 1,667 words. I will write more though because I like to start off ahead if possible. It has become a habit for me to start writing my NaNo novel just after midnight on the first. I had to go to bed after reaching a little over 1,200 words last night. Then today when I opened up my story the last couple of sentences I had written last night made absolutely no sense to me. I had no idea what I had been trying to say and had to laugh at myself. I was so tired I had literally been falling asleep at my laptop. I know one of the goals for NaNoWriMo is no editing during November but I had to take those last sentences out. I honestly had no idea what I'd been trying to convey.

The last reason I get excited at the beginning of November is because in my opinion we are in the holiday season. If I could convince my husband to get on board we would be decorating for Christmas today. He's not keen on this plan, though. The earliest our kids and I can really start putting out decorations is the week of Thanksgiving. He won't balk overly much at that. Still, there are a couple of little things out on my desk now, a little snowman and a Christmas bird that I crocheted. They are both very Christmas-y to me and make me happy. So yes, I love this time of year for so many reasons.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

Team Nightmare

 
My daughters and I (and my husband when he is around when we watch) love Dancing with the Stars. This past Monday they had an amazing Halloween episode. They had individual dances along with team dances. This is Team Nightmare. Enjoy - it is Epic!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Picking a topic

NaNoWriMo begins in three days and I have yet to decide on a topic. I though I had and even set up my novel page with the title. That is all I have though because I am a definite 'pantser' when it comes to doing NaNoWriMo. I have an idea and a few details in my head but no formal outline or pages of notes or index cards pinned to my bulletin board. I don't even have Post-It notes with anything scribbled down on them on my desk. This will all change as of November first, of course, when the fun and craziness that is NaNoWriMo officially begins.

For now, I have three ideas that I can't seem to make up my mind about. I like all of them. My original idea has been percolating in my brain for a while now. It is the next story in my small town series. I also have an idea to write an inter-connected series of short stories. Then this morning I saw the latest story starter on A Daily Rhythm and now I have one more idea. The prompt is:

They met too soon.

How cool is that? I immediately had a great idea for that prompt. The thing is, now I have a third idea for November and I don't know which one to go with. I suppose, being the pantser that I am, I will see what I am feeling inspired to write as the clock turns over from Halloween to November fist and the writing fun and madness that is the next month.

What about you? Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Are you a 'pantser' or a 'plotter'? Please share with me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: Friction By Sandra Brown (2)

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 187 of Friction by Sandra Brown:

He couldn't pinpoint what bothered him, but something was off, possibly the man's arrogance. Most people entering any law enforcement agency did so with a degree of self-consciousness.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Musing Mondays: Horror (or lack thereof) books and movies

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme put on at A Daily Rhythm that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you read any horror, or something scary, in honor of Halloween? Why, or why not?

I don't read horror books. They get in my head and stay there. I will have nightmares about horror books and movies long after I have read the book or watched the movie. However, I don't mind suspense or even ghost stories that are more along the lines of mysteries than horror. I do read those sorts of books and watch that kind of movie around Halloween.

The book my kids and I look forward to most at Halloween is called Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson. Here is a description of the book from Good Reads:

The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch's hat, then her bow, and then her wand!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom.  But is there room on the broom for so many friends?  And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?

My kids are what is called 'tweens now but they still love this book. They pull it out every year at Halloween and ask me to read it. They still love the voices I give all of the characters. They have even begun to read it and give their own voices to the characters. It is wonderful! I can definitely see them reading this book to their future children.

The Halloween movie we like best is Hocus Pocus. As a matter of fact, we will be watching it together on Friday evening. Do you have Halloween favorites in your family?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo as it is commonly known is fast approaching. It runs from November 1st through November 30th. The goal during the month is to write a 50,000 word first draft of a novel. It is so much fun and something I look forward to all year long! I know, I know, it sounds kind of crazy but honestly it is so liberating! There is something about knowing there is a word goal and a finite amount of time to get there that helps to turn off the inner critic and just write.

Write. Sit down and just write.

If you are an author (published or still working toward being published) then this is what it is all about - writing. The main goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people, young and old, writing. Turn off your inner critic, that annoying naysayer in your head, tune out the distractions and pound out your 1,667 words per day. Then, at the end of November you will have a first draft to a novel. Of course it may very well end up being longer than 50,000 words and that is perfectly acceptable. The point is to challenge yourself to write that first draft of your book.

I've been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2009 and it is amazing. The first couple of years I didn't love what I wrote but was happy with my accomplishment. Since then I have become a progressively better writer and I am happy about that. My book from last November is currently in its third revision and has been requested by four publishing houses. So yes, the process takes time but it is so very worth it in the end. Have you ever considered trying NaNoWriMo? Maybe this is your year to do it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: Friction by Sandra Brown

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 17 of Friction by Sandra Brown:

The door at the back of the courtroom burst open and a figure straight out of a horror movie ran up the center aisle, handgun extended. The first bullet struck the wall behind the witness box, splitting the distance between Crawford and Judge Spencer.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon - Mid-Event Survey

I can't believe the readathon is already half over. Here is the mid-event survey:

1. What are you reading right now? I've just finished (and LOVED!) J.D. Robb's Devoted in Death. I'm going to start Sandra Brown's Friction right after dinner. Perhaps I'll even start it during dinner if my kids feel like continuing to read their books, as well. Otherwise, it'll be after dinner.
2. How many books have you read so far? Just the one but I'm perfectly all right with that. It's about the enjoyment of the event and the books I read - not how many books I get done.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I'm looking forward to Friction. I also have Wonderment in Death on my Nook for later that I am quite excited to get in to.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Interruptions? LOL! I'm a mom - of course I've had interruptions, a LOT of them. They don't bother me, though. My kids come first and I don't really consider their needs interruptions so much as a part of everyday life.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

Today is the day for the Autumn edition of Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon. I'm late getting this post up but have been reading off and on for a couple of hours now. Even though I tried to plan the day to be available for reading and books - there are school projects that both of my kids must complete. That's all right though - we will all still be reading at various points throughout the day and night.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Southern California

 2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I'm really looking forward to finishing Devoted in Death by J.D. Robb. Then I'm going to start Friction by Sandra Brown. I've been on the library waiting list for this one and as luck would have it the book became available two days ago. yay!

 3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I'm most looking forward to the dinner my kids and I made together - Chili in out Crockpot.

 4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I'm a wife, a mom, an avid book lover and reader all my life, a writer and a music lover.

 5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I always enjoy the read-a-thon and participate without stress or expectation. The thing I love most is being able to do this with my kids and share our mutual love of reading.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Inspirational Quotes

I love things that inspire - whether that is people, quotes, art of some sort. I find inspiration in the every day. I don't usually post quotes, though. However, I have seen two today that are so appropriate and timely that I feel compelled to share them.

Here's the first one:

3 Tips for Today:

1. Be passionate about something bigger than yourself. It inspires growth.
2. Be proactive about your dreams. Stop waiting, get started.
3. Be patient with people. Give the love you wish to receive.

Here's the other one:

Ask yourself if what you're doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

I got both of these from the yoga inspiration page from Instagram. They both spoke so loudly to be this morning.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: Devoted in Death by J.D. Robb

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 117 J.D. Robb's Devoted in Death:

"I just got back from leave. My people need me around, as much as I can manage. And Trueheart takes his detective's exam tomorrow. Baxter's a wreck over it."

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Lovely Wedding

One of my best friend's got married to her longtime love today. Lisa and I have been girlfriends for nearly 25 years. It's amazing to think about that! Today, as she and her now-husband shared their vows I was reminded of how amazing and what a gift life really is. They had an outdoor wedding at a gorgeous nature preserve surrounded by family and friends. I looked around and saw a group of women I've been friends with since we were all young - some of us still in high school and others just beginning college. We've been through so many things together - amazing and sometimes difficult things - and we all always have one another.

A lot of pictures were being taken. Of course, it was a wedding and reception and celebration! Near the end we got a group shot of all 'us girls'. Then, when that was done, most of our children ran in and we had to get pictures of with them, as well. It made me think about how our relationships are now encompassing a new generation. It made me weepy but in a really good, positive, joyous way.

So to Lisa and David I say: Congratulations! I hope you have many beautiful and blessed years together! Thank you for including my family in your day! And to Lisa specifically I say: I love you! Thank you for always being such an incredible friend and like a sister to me. I can't wait to see what we - and all of our kids - do next!

 
Beautiful centerpiece at the reception!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: Dance of the Gods by Nora Roberts

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Dance of the Gods by Nora Roberts:

What was between them was illusion anyway. Something framed in fantasy, as transient as innocence.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: You Only Love Twice by Lexi Blake

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 145 of Lexi Blake's You Only Love Twice:

She hated mean girls. Loathed them. It was one of the great things about the McKay-Taggert women - they supported each other.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: You Only Love Twice by Lexi Blake

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 29 of Lexi Blake's You Only Love Twice:

"In long-term cover these are the things that ruin an operative," Ian mused. "She's trying to hold on to one thing that makes her who she was before she took the assignment."

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

The next installment of Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon is set to take place on Saturday, October 17, 2015. This is an incredible even that happens twice per year and revolves around reading, of course. I love this event for the books and the reading but I also adore the community aspect of all the readers around the world who take part. There are other things taking place like fun little games and challenges and cheerleading but it all relates back to books and a mutual love of the written word.

It seems to me that the spring edition of this event just occurred but it has been five months already. I adore doing this in the spring and fall but there is something cozy about doing this in October. It is thankfully a little cooler and nice to have a warm drink and read under a blanket. I really hope I'm not jinxing it with that little fantasy. I don't want it to be hot and miserable. I want it to be cool and cozy.

Anyway, my kids and I will participate. It has become a tradition in our house for my daughters and I to do the 24-Hour Read-a-Thon together. We enjoy going to the library and Barnes and Noble and making our book choices. They also like to help me select books to read on my Nook. We have fun deciding on our snacks and what we're going to cook in the Crock pot for dinner on Read-a-Thon nights, too. It's almost like a holiday that revolves around books, words and being together. I cherish this event and sharing books with my daughters.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: Morriagan's Cross by Nora Roberts

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 63 of Morrigan's Cross by Nora Roberts:

"I'm driven to survive, Hoyt. Humans and vampires have that in common."

Friday, July 31, 2015

Breathe

 
It has been the kind of month where I needed to remind myself to breathe on a daily, and sometimes hourly, basis.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: Suddenly One Summer by Julie James

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 43 of Suddenly One Summer by Julie James:

A few minutes ago she'd launched into a speech, speaking passionately about something to her two girlfriends. The investigative journalist in him had been intrigued, wondering what it was that had her so fired up.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: Black Hills by Nora Roberts

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from page 299 of Black Hills by Nora Roberts:

"I'm not sleeping on the couch."

"No."

She sighed when he went out. Choices, she thought again. It seemed she was making hers.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Time Flies

Where did May go? I swear it was the beginning of the month yesterday but here we are at the end of it. I know I've been writing every day and have accumulated nearly 42,000 written words this month. I've been revising my manuscript but not as much as I should have. That needs to be my main writing focus for June.

With summer vacation kicking in for my kids (yay!) our entire routine changes and shifts. And I am completely all right with that. I enjoy the longer days and easier pace of summer. That usually means that my writing focuses shift to night time and I am all right with that, as well. I am and always have been a night owl. It's like a different part of my brain kicks in once it's dark outside and our home is quiet. I'm not sure why this is but I happily embrace it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser.

My teaser this week is from Nook page 26 of Victoria Alexander's The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress:

"Every experience, every new person you meet, every new situation you observe is all fuel, Cameron. Muses are notoriously hungry but if you feed them they will shower you with inspiration."

Sunday, May 10, 2015