Saturday, November 2, 2013
Welcome to November and colder days and early nights, curling up in a comfy chair, with a good book or two or three! November is also the month of writing craziness, National Novel Writing Month in which participants try to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I discovered NaNoWriMo back in 2007 and have been doing it ever since. James joined in last year and thoroughly enjoyed himself. So he will be doing so again this year writing a fan fiction story combining several characters from different video games and movies.
I'm being a rebel this year and totally reworking Eyes in the Ashes which I started three years ago. I've been working on it off and on, more off, than on, for the past year and haven't gotten too far. Lots of notes though. Layla, a minor character, turned into a major character and it became her story. I had multiple points of view and plot holes the size of Wyoming. So, I decided to rewrite the whole thing and even gave it a new title - Silver Shadows. Seems I have a color theme going with all my draft titles. *grin* I'm combining or eliminating other characters altogether. I've been in a writing slump for quite a while, so hoping the challenge will get me back in the habit of writing everyday.
I'm also declaring November to be Nonfiction November. I don't read a lot of nonfiction and have all these books sitting on the shelf feeling neglected. Plus I created the C.S. Lewis and Inspiration Mini challenges for the 52 Books challenge at the beginning of the year and failing miserably at those. Decided now would be the perfect time to plunge into those books. I'm going to keep it simple and not bite off more than I can chew, like I usually do. I'm committing to one a week. Waiting in the wings are Lewis's Mere Christianity, St. Theresa's A Life of Prayer and George Orwell's Why I Write. For hubby, since he's already read the book and driving me crazy about reading it - Yes, Your Teen is Crazy: Loving your kid without losing your mind by Michael J. Bradley.
Wish us luck and see you on the other side in December!
Daylight Saving time ends tonight so don't forget to set your clocks back an hour if your state observes Daylight Saving Time.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Hello, yes we are still alive and kicking. Life is still kicking us in the butt and just haven't had much time to blog. Over on 52 Books, October Spooktacular reading month has begun.
If you haven't read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula, now would be a perfect time to do so. Wait, come back. Not right this minute, but this month. *grin* I've read them already, and thoroughly enjoyed them, although was really quite surprised because neither was quite what I expected. Which is actually a good thing, because it keeps one from getting bored. The mantra this month is expect the unexpected.
Spooky doesn't have to necessarily mean horror. I'm definitely not into the blood and guts type of books, but do love a great nail biting, give me goose bumps, don't turn off the lights read. And there are plenty of scary, spooky, chilling, thrilling books that are psychological fiction, paranormal or just plain old thrillers.
In that vein, I have a few spooky books on the shelves I will be reading and essentially still continuing with a Frankenstein and Dracula theme.
I've fallen in love with Dean Koontz and his Odd Thomas series so I am happy to say he wrote a series in which he reworked the Frankenstein theme. I'll be tackling the first book Frankenstein: Prodigal Son. I'll let you know what I think or if I manage to make it through the whole book.
Every city has secrets. But none as terrible as this. His name is Deucalion, a tattooed man of mysterious origin, a sleight-of-reality artist who’s traveled the centuries with a secret worse than death. He arrives as a serial killer stalks the streets, a killer who carefully selects his victims for the humanity that is missing in himself. Detective Carson O’Connor is cool, cynical, and every bit as tough as she looks. Her partner Michael Maddison would back her up all the way to Hell itself–and that just may be where this case ends up. For the no-nonsense O’Connor is suddenly talking about an ages-old conspiracy, a near immortal race of beings, and killers that are more—and less—than human. Soon it will be clear that as crazy as she sounds, the truth is even more ominous. For their quarry isn’t merely a homicidal maniac—but his deranged maker.Next up is Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series. I read the first one a couple years back and it was quite imaginative, so I'm going to dive into The Bloody Red Baron
It is 1918 and Dracula is commander-in-chief of the armies of Germany and Austria-Hungary. The war of the great powers in Europe is also a war between the living and the dead. As ever the Diogenes Club is at the heart of British Intelligence and Charles Beauregard and his protegé Edwin Winthrop go head-to-head with the lethal vampire flying machine that is the Bloody Red Baron…
From new to me author C.C. Humprey's is his historical thriller - Vlad: The Last Confession which according to Booklist:
An unapologetic tale about a man who endured great losses and was driven by intense passion for his country and religion...the novel is aimed much more at readers interested in the historical origins of the Dracula stories than at those looking for another vampire story. As such, it succeeds admirably.
Neither do I think I could go wrong with Edgar Allan Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym and Jules Verne's An Antarctic Mystery which was inspired by Poe's story and supposedly completes the mystery. Plus H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountain of Madness which was also inspired by Pym and takes place in the Antarctic.
What spooktacular books will you be reading this month?
Sunday, August 4, 2013
In the midst of purging and decluttering, Hubby finally gave up his 1971 Cadillac which has been sitting in the driveway for several years. He'd been dreaming of he and James working on the engine together, but James isn't technically or mechanically inclined. He's rather write or draw and play video games.
We've repainted and redecorated James room (turned it into a teenage room) and I'm waiting for cooler days to tackle the hallway, bathroom and living room.
Our days have also been taken up with taking James to speech, occupational and physical therapy. All on different days, of course. Which has lead us to doing multiple errands while we are out, so we've been spending lots of time running around as well.
In the midst of all that, I've been taking an online creative writing course which is helping me get back into the writing mode after a long dry spell. I've not been in the mood for reading new books and have just been rereading older books in my library by Nora Roberts, Patricia Briggs and Laurel K. Hamilton, among others.
And now that it's August, it's time to start working on 8th grade lesson plans. The good news is we already received all his curriculum, so now just need to sit my butt down and start figuring out his schedule. Fun, fun, fun.
So what has your summer been like?
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Attended my nephew's high school graduation in Texas. He's a cutie and always been a bit extra special to me since I was my sister's birth coach and was there when he was born. He'll be studying engineering with a minor in Math in college.
My sisters, one of my nieces and I had a girls day out and went to the Dallas World Aquarium while I was in Texas for my nephew's high school graduation. It was the neatest place with a rainforest, plants and animals from Mayan folklore. They even had dancers doing a mayan dance. It was a lot of fun.
|Japanese Spider Crab - right out of a sci fi movie. It was huge.|
|Feeding of the Sharks|
|Fish - don't remember the name but beautiful|