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My 2010 Reading Year

My Reading Year
Goodbye 2010.  You've been good to me.  I've discovered some new to me authors, rediscovered some old to me authors and explored around the world, plus journeyed through the atmosphere, planet hopping.   I also discovered the joy of reading e-books.  Surprisingly, when I received my nook last year, thought only would be using it for reading when traveling.  Toward the 2nd half of the year I started using it about 50% of the time.  For the first half of the year I instituted a book buying ban and was pretty good in resisting the temptation to buy books.
How did my reading year go?
I ended up reading 179 books compared to last year in which I read 184.   Out of those 179 books, 67 were new authors and 52 were e-books.   I started off the year joining way too many challenges and dropping out of all of them except for the 
Ireland Reading Challenge New Author Challenge Blogging Author Reading Project
I slowed way down with book reviews this year and only reviewed about…

WIP Wednesday: Goals for A Round of Words in 80 Days

A Round of Words in 80 Days

First Round 

January 3, 2011 through March 23, 2011
I am currently working on finishing the first draft of Red Thief which I started for the 2010 Nanowrimo.  My goal is to write one hour a day every morning before turning on the computer.  Because once I turn on the computer and start checking email. Well...You know.   I'm shooting for 500 words a day which should equal one handwritten page front and back.  My goal will include typing up each day's work in the afternoon rather than letting it accumulate for several days.   

I thought about writing only 5 days a week and taking off on the weekends. However, I discovered when I do that I end up having a hard time getting back into the groove on Monday. I'm also joining in on the 90 day Writing challenge and committed to writing daily for 90 days.  It's less stressful than nano since don't have a specific word count and helps me stay accountable and keep the habit of writing every single day…

2011 Year of Writing Deliberately - goals and challenges

2011 Writing Deliberately
Mercy! Where has this year gone.  It just seems like yesterday we were celebrating the beginning of 2010 and my year of Writing Deliberately.   My goals were to write every morning, finish the first draft of Eyes in the Ashes, and edit Floating on the Surface (2007 Nano)   I finished the first draft of Eyes and discovered my main characters had turned into supporting cast and two of my supporting cast had turned into the main characters.  After I read the draft, I realized I had some work cut out for me, plus enough fodder and the characters for a sequel seeing as one of my bad guys got away.   Those ideas are stewing in the back of my brain.  I never did get back to Floating on the Surface.  It's turned into my practice piece.   I did reread Winter Illusion (2009 Nano) and it will need a bit of rewriting along with a new and exciting action packed first chapter. 
I hadn't planned on joining in on National Novel Writing Month this year in an effort to…

Merry Christmas from our House to yours!

THE LAST PRESENT UNDER THE TREE
There is one last present under the Christmas tree,
I wonder whose it is?
Is it for the little girl with the rocking horse,
Or is it for Grandma or Aunt Liz?
It looks so lonely,
Sitting there by itself;
It’d certainly be an awesome addition
On "somebody’s" shelf.

The ribbon is gold,
The paper is paisley red;
"Who does it belong to?"
Keeps rattling in my head;
I decided to snatch a peek,
And see whose name is on the card;
It’d only take a second,
It won’t be very hard.

When no one was looking,
I reached under the tree,
Carefully handling the package,
"Who knows, it may be for me!"
But when I read the card,
I thought it was extraordinarily odd,
Because the message read,
"Love and blessings," God.

--Joel Bjorling


Merry Christmas to you and yours!  May it be filled with blessings and joy, bright and true.

Just one more reading challenge - Take a Chance Challenge

Ultimately I can't resist some challenges and Jenner's always tempts me because they are unique and fun and test your reading metal. The fun is in finding the books and the joy is in reading them.  The challenge is to see which ones I already have on my shelves so I don't break my buying ban. Which, of course, doesn't start until the first of the year.  *grin*   

And for those curious minds, yes, I am working on my writing goals and will be posting those soon.



Basic Information The concept of the challenge is to take chances with your reading by finding books to read in unusual or random ways. I’ve listed 10 different ways to find books below. Feel free to complete at many as you want. However, anyone completing all 10 challenges by December 31, 2011 will be entered in a prize drawing to win a book of their choice from Amazon. The challenge will run from January 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011.Crossover books from other challenges is fine. You can read books in any …

Cub Scouting's Highest award - Arrow of Light

Friday night James along with four other boys in his den received cub scouting's highest honor, the Arrow of Light.   His den leader personally made all the awards for the boys. 
From the Arrow of Light ceremony: 
The colored bands honor your individual ranks and achievements. Orange is for Tiger; Blue for Bobcat; Red for Wolf; Green for Bear; Silver and Gold for Arrow Points; Brown for Webelos; White  is for the Readyman Activity Badge; Purple is for the Citizen Activity Badge; Black for the Fitness Activity Badge; 5 Tan stripes are for the Activity Badge for the Arrow-of-Light Honor and the band of Yellow represents the Arrow of Light Award. 
But the parts of the arrow itself hold special significance, too.
The three feathers symbolize the family, the pack leadership and the scout.  Everyone has worked together to help you grow into a fine young man.  May you always fly straight and true to the mark.  These feathers in turn are joined by the blue and gold crests of Cub Scouting.  …

Happy Birthday Jane Austen

Happy 235th Birthday Jane Austen

In celebration of Jane Austen's birthday Sourcebook Publishers is making available for free today special editions of her novels Special e-book editions of Pride and Prejudice, Emma,Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasionand Mansfield Park. These celebratory editions include the full novels, plus the legendary color illustrations of the Brock brothers, originally created to accompany the books in 1898.
In addition to the Jane Austen classics, readers can also enjoy these bestselling Austen-inspired novels. The following bestselling e-books will be free on December 16th in honor of her birthday:
Eliza’s Daughter by Joan Aiken The Darcys and the Bingleys by Marsha Altman Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll What Would Jane Austen Do?by Laurie Brown The Pemberley Chronicles by Rebecca Ann Collins The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One by Sharon La…

2011 Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge

2011 52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge
As well as joining in on a few challenges in 2011, I'm going to continue to host Read 52 books in 52 weeks. I  am going to spice it up a bit this year and blend in several mini challenges, including the Mind Voyages challenge I created in 2010.   I worked rather hard to create the Mind Voyages blog and don't want to see it go to waste. So the blog will remain up so folks can refer to the links for their voyages.  All the mini challenges are optional and offered to help you meet the 52 books goal.  

1)  Mind Voyages is a science fiction / fantasy challenge to explore the hugo and nebula winners, take side trips through the different decades reading the nominees, check out Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein.   Also, Since I can't  possibly imagine a reading challenge without exploring new releases that come out in 2011, we have the all inclusive Pluto challenge. Links to all the voyages are available on the Mind Voya…

Secrets To The Grave - Tami Hoag (special giveaway)

Secrets to the Grave
By
Tami Hoag



Author Synopsis:  Marissa Fordham had a past full of secrets, a present full of lies. Everyone knew of her, but no one knew her.  When Marissa is found brutally murdered, her young daughter, Haley, with her head on her mother’s bloody breast, this mystery woman sends the idyllic California town of Oak Knoll into a tailspin. Already on edge with the upcoming trial of the See-No-Evil killer, residents are shocked at reports of the crime scene, which might not have been discovered for days but for a chilling 911 call: a small child’s voice saying, “My daddy hurt my mommy.”
The police face a puzzle with nothing but pieces that won’t fit. To assist with their only witness, four-year-old Haley, they call teacher-turned-child advocate Anne Leone. Anne’s life is hectic enough—she’s a newlywed and a part-time student in child psychology, and she’s the star witness in the See-No-Evil trial. But one look at Haley, alone and terrified, and Anne’s heart is…

Blogging Author Reading Project Wrap Up

At the beginning of the year, I joined in on Florinda's Blogging Authors Reading Project.  The project was basically to read books by authors who blog.  I follow a number of author blogs including group blogs such as Murderati, Running with Quills and Deadline Dames.  I've been working my way slowly through all their books.
Murderati is a group blog of 14 mystery writers includes Pari Noskin Taichert, Alafair Burke, Allison Brennan, Brett Battles, Cornelia Read, J.D. Rhoades, J.T. Ellison, Louise Ure, Robert Gregory Brown, Zoe Sharp, Toni McGee Causey, Stephen Jay Schwartz,  Alex Sokoloff and Tess Gerritsen. Wonderful blog. If you haven't been following them, you should. I've read stories by Tess Gerritsen, Robert Gregory Browne, J.T. Ellison, and Allison Brennan.    This year I read
Toni McGee Causey's Charmed and Dangerous Louise Ure'sLiar's Anonymous and The Fault Tree (e-book) Tess Gerritsen's  The Sinner 

Running with Quills was a blog with  7 …

2010 New Author Reading Challenge Wrapup

At the beginning of 2010, I joined in on Jackie of Literary Escapism's New Author Reading Challenge with the goal of reading 50 new authors this year.   Surprisingly, I reached that goal.  I enjoyed discovering and reading a great many new authors this year.  The books and new authors I read are:

Poetics - AristotleBoomerang - Alan Hutcheson The Mists of Avalon - Marian Zimmer Bradley Promise Me- Harlan CobenThe Last Surgeon - Michael Palmer The Forgotten Legion - Ben Kane The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester A Ship Possessed - Alton Gansky Soul Catcher - Leah Bridger The Last Ember - Daniel LevinThe Eye of the World - Robert Jordan Shimmer - David Morrell Under the Dome - Stephen KingThe Mayo Clinic DietKeeping the Feast - Paula Butturini (review book)Don't Look Behind You - Lois Duncan The Scarlet Lion - Elizabeth Chadwick Spin - Robert Charles Wilson City of Bones - Cassandra Clare Nausea - Jean  Paul Sartre The Scarlet and the Black - J.D. Gallagher  Young Bess - Margare…

2010 Ireland Reading Challenge wrap up

The Ireland Reading Challenge hosted by Carrie of Books and Movies has come to an end.  My goal was to read 6 books to fulfill the Kiss the Blarney Stone level.  I didn't end up reading the books I originally planned. I ended up reading
Venetia Kelley's Traveling Show by Frank Delaney The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri Endgame by Samuel Beckett ( Irish Author) A Passion Most Pure - Julie Lessman (Christian romance series about an Irish Family)A Passion Redeemed - Julie Lessman A Passion Denied - Julie Lessman 
Thank you to Carrie for hosting and she'll being doing it again for 2011. If you'd like to join in the 2011 Ireland Reading challenge, go to Books and Movies and sign up. I'll signing up for the "Luck o' the Irish Level and will be reading 4 books in 2011.

Sunday Salon: November, Nanowrimo, and notions

November is over and winter is approaching. Time to cozy up to the fire and do some thinking, reading, writing, or just some good old fashioned cuddling.  November was a hectic month with the start of my short story's class and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). 


I love Nanowrimo because it not only challenges me, but gets me back in the habit of writing every single day.   The challenge of writing 1667 words a day for 30 days also weaned me off of my too many hours spent browsing, not getting anything done, internet habit.  I discovered Twitter was just a big, time consuming distraction that at this point in my life, doesn't serve a useful purpose for me.  So *gasp* I deleted my account.   And I've decided to set up a schedule for blogging.  I'll be posting at least once a week on a day to be determined.  Still trying to figure out which day is the best.  Sunday will remain the scheduled post day for Reading 52 Books in 52 weeks challenge. 


I've set a goal o…

2011 Writing Deliberately

2011 Writing Deliberately
Goals



To help me with my goals, I am joining two writing challenges.  I've signed up for Kelly Stone's 90 Day Writing Challenge on Facebook.   The goal is to set a writing goal you can meet and write every day from January 1st through April 2nd.   The other challenge is Kait Nolan's A Round of Words in 80 Days.  


The challenge will run in 80 days increments, 4 times a year with a break between.  Round one will run through March 24th. Kait says:
Your goal can be anything you like as long as it is MEASURABLE. If you’re already in the middle of a WIP, that’s fine.  Tailor your goal to suit that.  You may even want to set mini goals (I want to finish the last 40k of this novel.  Then I want to spend the last 20 days revising it at x pages a day.).  There are a lot of elements to writing a book other than the writing itself.  Plotting.  Outlining.  Character Interviews.  Whatever.  Set your goal to match wherever you are right now on …