Saturday, March 28, 2015

My (Owned) TBR List

In a recent blog post, Ava Jae brought up an interesting question.
Do you have an owned TBR list? What are some of the books on the top of yours? 
I do, in fact, have an owned TBR list. A very, very long list. Therefore, I've broken it into sections.

Here it is:

*Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket
*Where She Went by Gayle Forman
*Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
Vampire Academy: The Complete Collection by Richelle Mead
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Enthralled by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong
Midnighters by Scott Westerfeld
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Lirael by Garth Nix
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Pretty Girls by Liz Doley
Free to Fall by Lauren Miller
Proxy by Alex London
Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Skylark by Meagan Spooner
Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuPrau
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Losing It by Cora Carmack

Classic Fiction
Emma by Jane Austen
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Writing Books
Shadows Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology by Brandon Sanderson
Write Away: One Writer's Approach to the Novel by Elizabeth George
Hooked by Les Edgerton
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose

Health Books
The Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

*At the top of my list

Any suggestions on where to start?

What I'm Reading Wednesday - Tracers, Rich Food Poor Food, Days of Blood and Starlight

This is late, so I'll post what I was reading on Wednesday.

Tracers by J.J. Howard

I gave this three stars on Goodreads. It had some really good suspense and a cool plot, but the emotions and characters sometimes felt a little fake to me. All in all a good, quick read. And now I'm prepared to see the movie! (I think it will translate to film really well, especially the parkour). 

Rich Food Poor Food

Getting back to this one while I wait for the Hashimoto's book to come in. (I had to return it to the library so I broke down and just bought it). 

Days of Blood and Starlight (audio)

Still listening to this one in the car :). I think I'll switch over to the non-audio version soon. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday - The Martian, Wicked Lovely, Hashimoto's, and Days of Blood and Starlight

The Martian by Andy Weir

Almost done with this one. Not my typical book but I like it. The character's unique voice is still making me laugh. 

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

I just started this one today. Yesterday I went to see Cinderella in theaters, and had a sudden craving to finally read Cinder by Marissa Meyer. However, it turned out that I had actually picked up Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, not Cinder. So I'm reading this one instead :). 

Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause by Izabella Wentz

I've got to finish this before it's due back at the library! Aghhhh!

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Kind of on a break from this one since I'm not doing much driving this week. Next week I'll pick it up again!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring Break Goal - Write 8 Scenes

A break from work and school should mean more time for writing, right? Somehow it doesn't usually work out that way. I'm determined to make this break different.

My goal this week is to write 8 scenes in TGITP.

After 6 scenes I'll finish the second quarter of the first draft, and I'll have to outline and plan the third quarter before writing the other 2 scenes. I plan to write 2 scenes a day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, outline on Thursday, and write 1 scene a day on Thursday and Friday. Ambitious, but I can do it.

I'm going to update this blog post as I go, to keep myself accountable (though who knows if anyone will ever read this besides me).

Here we go!

Monday, 1:40pm
Starting now!

Update: Monday, 2:35pm
1,262 words and 1 scene written. Short break to do some chores around the house and then back to it.

Update: Monday, 8:50pm
Starting again...

Update: Monday, 9:40pm
543 words and 1 more scene written. Now to bed! (Or really, now to go read for two hours and then to bed...)

Update: Wednesday, 1:33pm
So sometimes life gets in the way. Yesterday was Saint Patrick's Day, as well as my 3 year anniversary with my boyfriend, so not much writing got done. Therefore, change in plans! I'm going to try to write three scenes today, one scene (and outline) tomorrow, and two scenes on Friday. Here we go!

Update: Wednesday, 2:43pm
Whew, tough scene. 642 words and 1 more scene complete. Off to do some things around the house, and then I'll be back!

Update: Wednesday, 4:00pm
"If I crash I'll begin again"

Update: Wednesday, 4:30pm
647 words and 1 more scene! That one was easy because it was mostly just rewriting a scene I wrote awhile ago. Now for dinner and some anniversary celebrating, then I'll be back at it tonight.

Update: Thursday, 12:06pm
Decided I was too tired last night to write another scene. I always used to think I was a night owl, but I've learned in the past few years that I'm more of an early bird. Fortunately, since it's spring break, I can take advantage of that and write in the morning. Here we go...

Update: Thursday, 12:46pm
Got sucked into a email/name googling black hole. Now I'm really starting.

Update: Thursday, 2:41pm
God, it's like pulling teeth today. 670 words and 1 more scene complete. Time to read and take a nap.

Update: Friday, 3:00pm
Saw Insurgent this morning. Love. Now for writing, writing, writing...

Update: Friday, 3:56pm
FINISHED WITH THE FIRST HALF! I wrote 1,234 words (yes really) and 1 more scene. I also decided that the scene I was going to end this half with will do better later on. Therefore, I am officially finished drafting the first half of TGITP. I still have 2 more scenes to write this week, so later I'll do some outlining.

Final Update:
So that's it. 5,025 words and 6 scenes. I didn't totally meet my goal, but I did finish the first half so yay!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday - Afterworlds, The Martian, Hashimoto's, Rich Food Poor Food, and Days of Blood and Starlight

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

I've been a huge Scott Westerfeld fan ever since the Uglies series, and I'm so excited to be reading one of his newer books. I'm finding it hard not to turn *just one more page* when it's time to go to sleep at night. 

The Martian by Andy Weir

Still working on this one. 

Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause by Isabella Wentz

I pick this one up when I need to fall asleep ;). But really, it has a lot of good information. 

Rich Food Poor Food by Jayson and Mira Calton

This one has been on the back burner this week. 

Day of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (audio)

 Still working my way through this one. Twenty minutes each day!

Monday, March 9, 2015

My Writing Routine

I've gotten back into the habit of writing every day, so I wanted to jot down what my writing routine is like, with the understanding that it might look completely different in a year or even a month.

The first thing I do is turn on all the lights and open the blinds, if it's still daylight outside. Then I light a candle or some incense, or sometimes both, and make the bed. I find it impossible to be creative if I'm in a messy room.

Then I'll grab a drink, coffee or wine, or sometimes kombucha, and occasionally tea or water. Since it's winter, I turn on the space heater and grab my favorite blanket, and make sure my dog is in the room before I close the door (she loves to snuggle up by the heater).

I'll finally sit down at that point, and check in on all the writerly and readerly blogs I follow. I might read an article or two on the craft, or on publishing, or get sucked into a goodreads/digital library/book review hole.

Then I open scrivener.

I reread my notes for a scene, and maybe the last scene I wrote. I might check my spreadsheet and make sure I remember all the important plot points I need to hit.

Then I write.

And sometimes I hate what comes from my fingertips.

But I keep writing.

And tomorrow it doesn't look so bad.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

What I Wrote 2015 - Week 10

This Week I...

Wrote 2,811 words
Wrote 5 new scenes
Prepped 2 scenes for my critique partner
Planned the next 5 scenes
Will probably write another scene tonight
Rewrote 2 scenes from 2 of my favorite novels, then looked at their balance of description, narration, dialogue, and introspection. I also looked at how they use inferencing and other techniques.

I've realized just how important it is, for me, to make sure I write every day. Taking a break for even one day makes it that much harder to get back into the groove.

Current total word count: 48,256

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday - The Martian, Red Queen, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Rich Food Poor Food, Mindset, and Days of Blood and Starlight

Somehow, I'm currently reading six books.

The Martian by Andy Weir

I'll admit, I was wondering how the author was going to keep this interesting since there was only one character, but so far he's been successful. I'm also really loving all the science and engineering in this book.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Finally! I've been waiting to read this since I read the query on the agent's blog as well as the first few pages. 

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause by Isabella Wentz

I'm actually reading this as a paperback book! It was the only copy the library had. 

Rich Food Poor Food by Jayson and Mira Calton

I'll admit, this one has fallen a bit to the side, especially since I have a deadline to turn in the Hashimoto's book. 

Mindset by Carol Dweck

I've gotten back into this one! I'm looking for some ways to teach my students about growth mindsets vs fixed mindsets and help them develop their own growth mindsets. 

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (audio)

So different from the first book yet I still have to know what comes next.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

2015 Resolutions - Update 1

It's been two months (9 weeks) since the New Year! Time to check in on my resolutions and see where I am.

Resolution #1: Finish the first draft of TGITP

I'd like to be further along with this goal than I am, but I've definitely made progress. I have a mini goal right now to finish the second half by March 14th. That means I need to write about 13 scenes in 2 weeks. I might change my goal to be Saint Patrick's Day, first because then it will give me the few extra days I need, second because I love Saint Patrick's Day (I can wear ALL green and not get any weird looks!).

Resolution #2: Read 70 books

So far I've read 14 books, and according to Goodreads that's 3 books ahead of schedule, so yay! I'm currently reading about 6 different books though, so I really need to focus on about 3 at a time...

Resolution #3: Write at least 1,000 words a week

Out of 9 weeks, I only missed this goal twice! (Though a couple of weeks were pretty close...) I even had one week where I wrote 5,346 words! I've realized though that I'll need to be writing closer to 5,000 a week if I want to finish this draft before June. I'm not changing my resolution, however, just pushing myself to surpass it.

Resolution #4: Play an instrument once a week

I also have only missed this goal twice in 9 weeks. I've been learning The Mountain by Ludovico Einaudi and working through a workbook to get back into reading music as well.

Resolution #5: Do 5 pull-ups a week  

Again, missed this twice in 9 weeks. The pull ups are getting a little easier! Of course I usually end up doing all of them on Saturday...

Here is the spreadsheet I've been using to keep track of whether or not I met my goals each week.

That's it! I'll check in on these again at the end of April.