Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday - Dreams of Gods and Monsters and These Broken Stars

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Back to this one after my ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES binge. 

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (audio)

Mmmmm love.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday - Dreams of Gods and Monsters, All The Bright Places, and These Broken Stars

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

I was craving some more Karou so I started the third one earlier this week :). 

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This one has been on my to-read list and when my partner teacher's daughter offered to let me borrow it I couldn't resist. I am IN LOVE with Finch's voice and will have to study how the author makes two first person povs work so well (since my WIP also has two first person povs). 

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (audio)

This is my new audio book; I just started listening on the way home from work today. I'm also loving this male character's voice, so much great introspection. I'm excited to see more of the futuristic world and who this girl in the blue dress is (I'm hoping we'll get some of her pov too!). 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday - Empire of Night, Rich Food Poor Food, Everyone Can Draw, and Palace of Stone

Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong

I'll never turn down a new Kelley Armstrong book. 

Rich Food Poor Food by Jayson and Mira Calton

This book helped me avoid the Teacher Appreciation Week goodie temptations. 

Everyone Can Draw by Barrington Barber

I won't update after this but I bought this book on a whim this weekend and started working through it. I've been learning to draw recently but don't have time to take a class, which is what I really want to do. This and youtube videos are the second best thing!

Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale (audio)

Man, is this book getting less middle grade and more YA by the chapter.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

2015 Resolutions - Update 2

It's been 4 months (18 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'm currently drafting the third quarter (7 out of 20 scenes done) and plan to finish by May 23rd. Then I'll just have one quarter left! I should be done with this resolution by the next check in, if everything goes as planned.

Resolution #2: Read 70 books

I've read 25 books so far, which is 2 books ahead of schedule! Still not doing so great at focusing on only a few books at once though.

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

Out of 18 weeks I've missed only 3 weeks! I also had another 5,000 word week.

Resolution #4: Play an instrument once a week

I've missed this goal 4 times in 18 weeks. I really want to practice more than once a week, but I keep reminding myself that right now I'm building up the once a week habit to start, so it's okay if I don't do more than that.

Resolution #5: Do 5 pull-ups a week  

I've also missed this 4 times in 18 weeks. I was all set two weeks ago to bump it up to 5 pull-ups a day, and then the great week 17 plague hit and killed those dreams. I'm going to go for it this week though now that I'm feeling better.

And here's my spreadsheet where I'm keeping track of my goals.

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

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Paperclip Visual

The other day I stumbled upon a cool way to track progress, and decided to try it out on my writing.

My current (low) goal is to write at least 1,000 words a week. I put 10 paperclips on a sticky note titled "not yet written" and made another sticky note titled, "written!" Each paperclip is worth 100 words, so 10 paperclips=1,000 words. 

Every time I write 100 words I get to move a paperclip from one sticky note to the other. This gives me a visual representation of my progress while I watch the unwritten pile shrink and the written pile grow. This is the first week I've tried it, so I'll be sure to come back and let you know how it worked for me. 

If it works especially well, I'm thinking of doing a bigger version. Maybe two small jars and 80 marbles, representing the 80,000 total words I'm shooting for in my manuscript?

Update: I've used the method once now and it worked pretty well! I didn't usually notice when I passed 100, and when I did notice I often got to move several clips at once, which was a nice boost.