Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday - The Moon and More, Please Understand Me II, Black Ants and Buddhists, and The Chocolate Touch

Ugh. Hard week.

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Mmm, I just love Sarah's easy love stories. 

Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey

...almost, almost, almost done! Getting really sick of this one, but I feel like I have to finish. 

Black Ants and Buddhists by Mary Cowhey

I'm reading this one again now that class is over, a little more closely. 

The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling

I'm reading this book aloud to my third graders! I remember reading this book when I was in third grade, which is why I included the old cover as well as the new one. It's definitely a favorite :). 

Monday, February 24, 2014

3rd Grade Writer's Workshop

I started my writer's workshop with my third graders today! I went around to 5 different libraries in Austin this weekend and ended up checking out 82 books for them to use as mentor texts during our unit. Unfortunately, they're sort of more excited to read the books than they are to write their own!

For the writing unit they're entering their books in a PBS contest in April. They were surprised to find out that I'm a writer working towards being published as well. I told them I would be making a short graphic story (what do you call a graphic novel of picture book length?) while they made their own books. I'm not the best illustrator, so we'll see how this goes!

Just wanted to give you a glimpse of when my writing life and teaching life collide.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I Won! - Book Giveaway For A DEATH-STRUCK YEAR

I'm so excited! I entered the Final ARC Giveaway for A DEATH-STRUCK YEAR by Makiia Lucier on Goodreads, and I was actually one of the winners!

I've been waiting to read this book ever since I read Makiia Lucier's query letter as an example on the New Leaf Literary blog. Goodreads only gave away 50 copies out of the 1031 people who requested, which was a less than 5% chance, so I feel pretty lucky. I've never received an ARC before, and I can't wait for this one to arrive. Hopefully I'll be able to read and review it before it's released on March 4th. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday - The Moon and More, Please Understand Me II, Donavan's Word Jar it already Wednesday again?!

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Ahh, I've been waiting for the library to get this one in the kindle edition. I just started it but I'm already sucked into the family dynamics she's got going on. 

Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey

...I really need to just buckle down and finish this one so I can move on to another non-fiction. 

Donavan's Word Jar by Monalisa DeGross

I'm reading this one with my third grade class! The told me it looked boring when they saw the cover but they've started to get into it a little more. 

(P.S. I'm decided to stop reading The Raven Boys until I can get a non-audio copy). 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Reading Bingo - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Plot versus Character, A Corner of the Universe, Delirium, A Light in the Attic, and The Handmaid's Tale

Here are the books I've finished in the past few weeks:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: A book set on a different continent; A book with magic. 

Plot versus Character: A book of non fiction. 

A Corner of the Universe: A book with a blue cover; A book set in the past. 

Delirium: A best-selling book; A book with music. 

A Light in the Attic: A funny book; A book with a dragon. 

The Handmaid's Tale: A book that scares you. 

I've almost got a few regular bingos, but I'm going for blackouts, baby ;). 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday - The Handmaid's Tale, Please Understand Me II, and The Raven Boys

School is really starting to get underway for me...and my writing, my reading and this blog are taking the hit because of it :(. 

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Mmm, this is really starting to hold my attention and keep me from sleep. Also, I love how Atwood only uses quotation marks in certain situations, though it does take some getting used to. Time is a much more fluent thing in her books, and therefore it has to be more structured as well. 

Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey

I'm reading through the section on relationships between certain personality types right now. It's definitely giving me a lot of fodder for my writing (as well as advice for my personal life, haha). 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (audio)

Let's just say, I feel like I should stick to books I'm rereading when I go audio. There's too many details to catch otherwise. Still, I'm going to try to power through this one! (Or maybe order the e-book version from the library instead...)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Shhh, it's okay.

What I'm Reading Wednesday - The Handmaid's Tale, Please Understand Me II, A Light in the Attic, and The Raven Boys

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Oooh, I do love a good Margaret Atwood dystopia (Oryx and Crake, anyone?). I'm still somewhere in the first ten chapters of this one, and though I'm slightly confused and lost I have a feeling that this is exactly where Atwood wants me to be. I'm trusting her to lead me through this made-up, slightly terrifying world in one piece (or several, really, that's fine too).  

Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey

Still making my way through this one! I've been jumping around a lot. 

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

My dog is still enjoying being read the poetic stylings of Shel Silverstein before bed. I enjoy reading them too. 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (audio)

I just started listening to this in the car yesterday afternoon, so I'm not too deep in yet. However, I read her SHIVER series and loved it, so I have high hopes. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My New Writer's Critique Group

I joined/co-founded a critique group, and this past Saturday we had our first real critiquing session! The group is made of me and four other girls, all between 17 and 22 years old. This is extremely exciting (and nerve wracking) for me because it was the first time I let anyone read any part of TGITP. Seriously, neither my mother, my sisters, nor my boyfriend have read any of it yet.

I think part of the reason for that is because I haven't written the full draft yet, and there's a possibility that things in that first chapter will change. I want my family to be able to read the story in it's entirety and experience it like they would experience a published book. However, I don't necessarily need my group to read the book in it's entirety. I need their help working on my writing now, and motivating me to have something ready for them to read each week.

Anyway, the comments were pretty good! But it was the first week after all ;). I expect (and hope) (and fear) that the comments will get a little more critical, and therefore more helpful, as time goes on.