Category Archives: Books

Monthly Recap: November

Can you believe that it’s almost Christmas and the end of the year? It seemed unbelievable to me until I was thinking about the books I read early this year, and realized how long ago it seemed! Without further ado, my November…

Books I Read

Take A Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

Flame in the Mist by …. (I technically finished this Dec. 2 but considering I only read one other book, give me this, OK?)

#bookstagram Image of the Month

After we put up the Christmas tree I decided to pull out my Nikon D7000 and try out a new theme for my bookstagram, and I’m really happy with it. I plan to stick with this look through December, though I am hoping come January I won’t lose my motivation to take higher quality pictures for Instagram.

Watched

Thor: Ragnarok, and really enjoyed it! I will say that Marvel is doing a lot of the same thing over and over again, yet it doesn’t bother me because they do it so well. I just really enjoy the character interactions, mostly. And have you seen the trailer for Infinity War? It got me pretty pumped to see how they will pull everyone and the various plot threads together (though *groan* for Scarlet Witch and Vision…).

Wrote

While I technically didn’t win NaNoWriMo because I didn’t write 50K new words, I won it in my heart because I finished the first draft of my new story! Since I had written half of it already I only ended up with 26K for the month, but 53K overall. It’s a little shorter than I want because I tend to rush my story, so I’ll be fleshing it out more in revisions. It definitely needs work but I’m still happy with the story overall.

Other November Happenings

One highlight of November would have to be the day I spent with three of my good girl friends, all who were are moms The reason for pointing this out is to say that while I do see these friends on a fairly regular basis, I rarely get to hang out with them sans their kids, and while I do love their kids, it was great to just be the four of us again! We went to a place in town where you get to create your own wooden sign and had a great time! Here’s my final product:

And of course Thanksgiving was a highlight too, eating good food and spending time with my family.

Looking Forward to in December…

Christmas and all it entails!

I will also endeavor to write a few posts this blog, including my in-depth post about my trip to Savannah in September and my thoughts on the books I read this year.

How was your November? What are you looking forward to this month?

Monthly Recap: October

I’m embarrassed that I waited even longer on this recap than I did last month. In fairness, I am pretty busy with NaNoWriMo this month, and have been about 65% successful in not letting the Internet distract me too much, which is quite an accomplishment! But enough about today, let’s look back at October…

Books I Read

The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes

Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff

The Knowing by Sharon Cameron

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

#bookstagram Images of the Month

Watched

The Orville, some Discovery but we gave up when our free trial ended, and Designated Survivor. And The World Series because my Astros were in it! OK, I haven’t really followed them much since I moved to TN, but I was a big fan when I lived in Houston and was so excited for them!

October Happenings

I saw Needtobreathe at the Ryman in Nashville! It was great as usual! They’re coming back in December but the show sold out so fast I couldn’t get tickets. *tears* I’m really glad I was able to make it to this show though!

The Friday before Halloween we were allowed to dress up at work, so I kept my costume simple but appropriate by going as Hermione.

Music

Listened a good bit to Echosmith’s new EP Inside A Dream (well, it doesn’t seem new now that they just released a Christmas EP I’m gonna have to check out) and Needtobreathe’s EP Hard Cuts: Songs from the Hard Love Sessions.

I won’t pretend I’m going to post again this month, because one again, I’m trying to get a first draft written. But I’ll leave you with a visual image of my WIP and say that I fully intend to post more than once next month, especially as it will be time to reflect on the best books I read this year!

How was your October? Did you do anything fun for Halloween?

Monthly Recap: September

I hate how late this recap is! I’ll try to do better next month…

Books I Read

Finished my reread of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

A Dash of Dragon by Heidi Lang and Kat Bartkowski

#bookstagram Images of the Month

Watched

Sing (cute), The Secret Life of Pets (forgettable), and Wonder Woman (finally, I know – I really enjoyed it but maybe not quite as much as everyone else).

September Happenings

I went on vacation in Savannah (the week after Irma hit)! I still want to talk more about this in a future post, but you can read my thoughts on two of the city’s bookstores here and just know that I really enjoyed my time there! It’s such a beautiful city.

My birthday! I turned 31 and it wasn’t even too painful, ha ha. It was a good one, with several celebratory dinners around it.

I attended the SCBWI Midsouth Conference for the fourth (I think?) year in a row, and it was such an enriching experience, as usual. But it didn’t start out roses and rainbows.

For the first time, I paid for a critique from an editor. You can do face-to-face or written, and I chose the latter. I submitted the first ten pages of the WIP I have been pouring into pretty much since my first SCBWI conference, and had recently revised due to feedback from various CPs. I thought it was in pretty good shape and was hoping for some constructive criticism. While the feedback I got back from the editor wasn’t flat out negative, it wasn’t very positive either. I understood some of what she was saying, but some of it was clear she just wasn’t getting the story. Whether that was my fault or not, I don’t know, but that was the reality.

But I immersed myself in the conference and didn’t worry too much about the critique. Then came time for our optional critique group, which is where you’re assigned to a group to critique a few pages of each other’s work. Between getting the paid critique and just already getting a lot of feedback on Earthbound, I decided to share the beginnings of a new story I just recently started working on and haven’t even completed a draft of yet. The response from those in my group was so positive that it really kind of blew me away, and definitely encouraged me. I could feel in my soul what my next course of action was – shelve Earthbound for now, give it time to simmer, and focus all my efforts on my new project.

So I’m excited! It can be hard to move on from something you’ve spent so much time on, but I honestly feel really liberated. Earthbound would be a hard sell for a debut author; this new contemporary is much easier to grasp onto. If I can write it as well as I believe I can, I believe getting an agent with it will be very possible. And here’s hoping that I can bring Earthbound back out one day, once I have that trust in place. My goal is to have my first draft of Love and Sax finished by the end of the year.

Also, these ladies are my writing lifeline!

Looking forward to in October…

Needtobreathe concert! I get to see my other favorite band this month and I cannot wait!

How was your September? 

Bookstore Tourist: Savannah, GA

I recently got back from a lovely trip to Savannah, GA, and just had to share about the two indie bookstores I went to there.

The Book Lady

Imagine a large library collection in an old house that spills over onto the floor and into multiple rooms, and you’ll have an idea of what The Book Lady feels like. There’s a mix of used gems and new books, as well as a small (secured) section of rare and special books. When my husband saw a hardback copy of Jumanji and wondered out loud what made it special or rare, the guy at the store unlocked the case and showed us the author’s signature inside. If you’re a big fan of rummaging to find that perfect book, this is a place you’ve got to check out.

E Shaver

I enjoyed The Book Lady, but I absolutely adored E Shaver. I’m sure their bookstore kitties helped with that. 🙂 (The Book Lady does have bookstore dogs, but they were off-duty when we were there.) There were so many gorgeous covers I had never seen before for books I already own and really don’t need another copy of (#bookworm probs) and some other fun things there as well.

I hope to share more just a little more about my trip to Savannah in a future post, but just had to share the bookstore love!

Have you ever found a gem in a used bookstore? What’s your favorite indie bookstore that you’ve visited and isn’t local to you?

Monthly Recap: August

Books I Read

It Started With Goodbye by Christina June

The Leveller by Julia Durango

And I am about halfway through my reread of Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix… #foreverlong

#bookstagram Images of the Month

Technology Stinks

A list of things that crapped out on me in August: my Nook, my hair dryer, and my secondary computer monitor (only a little over a year old).

So my Nook seemed to be in dire straits earlier this month, acting up quite a bit when I read It Started With Goodbye, but after not using it for a few weeks, I tried charging it again and turning it on and it seems OK. I guess time will tell. I was looking into replacing it but wasn’t happy with any of the options out there; I just really love this particular model of Nook that I have. I think I’ll try replacing the battery though and seeing if that works. So I’m holding off e-book reads for a little while.

Watched

So my husband wanted to see if a show we had seen a few episodes of years ago, Better Off Ted, was on Netflix. When we checked, only season two was available until September 1, so we spent some nights in August watching that. It was a funny show; too bad we didn’t get to see most of season one.

August Happenings

The Switchfoot/Lifehouse concert was very enjoyable and I think my husband enjoyed all his birthday festivities.

Hurricane Harvey has hit my heart very heavy, as I spent eight very formative years of my life in the Houston area and have so many friends there. From Facebook I have seen friends of mine who have lost a lot materially, but who have had their church, friends, family, strangers really come through and help them. One of these friends even went viral with a video he shared of himself playing his piano in his flooded house. Please keep thinking of Houston, guys.

 

Looking Forward To in September

VACATION VACATION VACATION. We usually go in May, but I used up all my PTO in the winter when I got sick with that awful virus, and I’ve been building it back up since then. We’re going to Savannah, GA, and it cannot come soon enough! I’ll also be attending the SCBWI Midsouth conference again so I’m looking forward to that! And then my birthday… even though it’s been a nearly year, I’ve had some trouble adjusting to the idea of being in my 30’s. HOWEVER, I do feel like I have been embracing being an adult a little more lately.

And speaking of being an adult, the last week of August I accepted an offer of promotion within my company and will start training for that this month. I’m nervous and excited… I’m going to be doing a little accounting which is something I never dreamed of doing in 1000 years, but I’ve been working in the department for a while and they think I’m capable of this… and I’m starting to believe I am too. I was ready for a change so I think it’ll be a good way to stretch myself.

Potential September TBR

My TBR kind of feels like a crapshoot at the moment, but just for the sake of saying I tried…

Finish The Order of the Phoenix (obviously)

Walking on Water by Madeline L’Engle

A Dash of Dragon by Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Sorry for being such a blogging slacker… I’ve been busy! I hope to actually post that DS9 Top 10 post soon, but it’s been a hard list to compile! So how was your August?