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Showing posts from December, 2011

Welcome 2012!

Happy New Year!

Blogging Authors Reading Project

2012 Blogging Authors Reading Project

The Blogging Authors Reading Project started a couple years ago and I'm going to continue in 2012.  I have discovered quite a few authors who blog and enjoy reading new to me authors. I have been following a few group author blogs and made it a goal to read at least one of each of their books.  Hence the Blogging Author Reading Project.  The goal is simple - to read books by authors who blog.  I'll be starting with the books I already have in the stacks since one of my goals this year is to whittle down my current TBR pile.  

My favorite site Murderati has made a few changes in the past year - lost some old favorites and added some new ones.  The current roster includes: 
Pari Noskin Taichert  Cornelia Read  David Corbett Gar Anthony Haywood Zoe Sharp P.D. Martin Stephen Jay Schwartz Alex Sokoloff J.T. Ellison Louise Ure
From the old and current guard on Murderati, I've already read stories by Toni McGee Causey, Louise Ure,  J.D…

2012 Writing Deliberately

2012 Writing Deliberately

I'm ready for another Year of Writing Deliberately.  A Year of Writing Deliberately was born back in 2010 when I read about Jennifer's idea of the Year of Reading Deliberately, the thoughts started rolling about in my head about being deliberate with not only my reading, but also writing as well. 
Deliberate - "Done with or marked by full consciousness of the nature and effects."   How often do we go through our days on auto pilot, not giving conscious thought to what we are doing.  Never fully in the moment, but thinking about what needs to be done next, splitting our attention away from what actively doing at the moment.  
I discovered through Julia Cameron's The Artist Way the best way to go about things is to be there in the moment, stay positive and write goals:  Daily, weekly, yearly.  To help me with my writing goals this year, I am going to continue to be a part of A Round of Words in 80 Days, the brainchild of Ka…

A to Z Challenge by Title and Author completed

I finished the A to Z Challenge hosted by Becky of Becky's Book Reviews with just 5 days left to the year. I committed to reading 26 books alphabetically by Title and 26 books alphabetically by Author.  It was actually kind of fun and had to get creative with a few letters but managed to find some really interesting books.  I reviewed all the books read by title but didn't quite get to the ones by authors.  Half of the books were new to me authors. 

Alphabetically by Title

A. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
B. Beatrice and Virgil - Yann Martel
C. Cinders - Michelle Davidson Argyle
D. Delirious - Daniel Palmer
E. Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynn Truss
F. Forsaken by Shadow - Kait Nolan
G. Green - Ted Dekker
H. Heatwave - Richard Castle
I.  In the Woods - Tana French
J. Janeology - Karen Harrington
K. Kiss the Moon - Carla Neggers
L. L is for Lawless - Sue Grafton
M. Murder in the Marais - Cara Black
N. Night Road - Kristin Hannah
O. Out of Time - Alton Gansky
P. Dark Prince - C…

A to Z Challenge: Uncle Petros through Hostage Zero

Mini Reviews of books U to Z for A to Z Challenge by Title

Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture by Apostolos Doxiadis is a novel of mathematical obsession.  Petros Papachristos devotes his life to trying to prove  Goldbach's Conjecture, the deceptively simple claim that every even number greater than two is the sum of two primes. It's an interesting read and if you are like me, not mathematically inclined, then you discover many mathematical forums you've never heard of, err, don't remember from school.

Michael Romkey's Vampire's Violin is about a Vampire who after centuries of living has just two passions left: blood and music. The Vampire has the voice of angels and makes anyone who plays it a master player. It disappeared many years ago. He tracks it down to a young woman in college who inherited from her grandfather who had bought off a German soldier during the war.  It had been hidden in his attic for 50 years.  Now it's come to life again and…

Merry Christmas

Whispers White

The snow comes down in whispers white
And covers everything in sight
Making all that Heaven might
Know that this is Christmas Night.

Swirls and swirls of flying flakes
Dance, then glance the heavens, and makes
Me thank the Lord for no mistakes
In delivering his Son for all our sakes.

The snow comes down in whispers white
And covers everything in sight
Making all that Heaven might Know that this is Christmas Night. ~anonymous~
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

2011 A Round of Words in 80 Days wrapup

A Round of Words in 80 days is wrapping up today.   I am very thankful to Kait Nolan for creating the writing challenge.  It encouraged me to set writing goals and to stick with them.   Unfortunately my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I didn't accomplish as much this year as I wanted too.  At the beginning of the year, I had planned on finishing Red Thief, editing another story and getting it ready to query and take a writing course.   I set a goal of writing 500 words a day which ended up not being a bright move for me because I didn't finish my first draft of Red Thief until September. Well, I do have finishing my Bachelor's Degree as a good excuse because it did involve a lot of writing.  Anyway, it gave me two months to do other things and then I jumped right back into the Nanowrimo pond with Blue Steel.  Since Nano I have kept up the daily writing of 1667 words and the story is progressing nicely. I hope to have the first draft done by the end of the year.  I'…

A to Z Challenge: Dark Prince through The Weird Sisters

Mini Reviews for books I've read for the A to Z Challenge 
Christine Feehan's The Dark Prince is the first book in the Dark series about an ancient race of Carpathians in modern times. Basically vampires who don't kill.  Michael the prince is tired of life and about to step into the sun when Raven, a telepathic hunter of serial killers speaks to him in his mind and makes him want to live.  The characters are very intense and emotional and the writing is along the same lines as how Dracula was written.  There are 22 books in the series. I tried a couple more and gave up. Too over the top for me. I'll stick to her Ghostwalker series. 

Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz's Quicksilveris book # 11 in her Arcane Society Series which are set in the past, present and future. This particular story is set in the late Victorian England. Virginia Dean is a glass reader and can see what has happened in the past through whatever glass was in the room at the time.  Owen Sweetwater a…

Little town with big christmas spirit: - Hallelujah Chorus

Combine a teacher, 5th graders and the small town of Quinhagak, Alaska, the Hallelujah Chorus and see what you get. Guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit.

Row80: Swearing over the goalposts...

I have gotten derailed and may have to move the goal posts.  Sick kid and hubby and cats and Christmas decorating and life have collaborated to derail my writing progress.    Somebody get me a violin.  I haven't made much progress in the past week. I'm sitting at 66,000 and my projected goal for the day is supposed to be 74,000.   I have some work cut out for me.  The past couple days I've sat down to write and it hasn't gone smoothly.  So, today and I know you aren't suppose to do this because it is a rough first draft after all, I went through the entire thing, organized and outlined what scenes I do have to figure out where I was, because it is a mystery after all and what did I do with the dang clues.  I think I have a handle on it now and am ready to proceed forward.    Yaahoo!

Also, I came to a decision about my main character.  She is a prosecuting attorney and since she can't swear in court, I decided she won't swear in the rest of the her life.   …

2012 Read 52 books in 52 Weeks

For the fourth year in a row I am hosting the Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks reading challenge.  I am having so much fun with this challenge, coming up with weekly posts about books, books and more books.  This past year I've enjoyed exploring different themes and introducing folks to books they never considered reading before.  
The goal is to read one book (at least) a week for 52 weeks. It can either be easy and casual or kick it up by exploring new authors and genres. I enjoy discovering new authors.  There are several mini challenges to make it fun which include: 
12 in 2012: Read 12 books in 12 different categories

A to Z challenge: Read books alphabetically by title and/or author.

Jane Austen: Read all things Jane Austen

Mind Voyages: Explore the hugo and nebula winners, take side trips through the different decades reading the nominees.

Well Educated Mind: Explore the classics in five categories: Fiction, Autobiography, History/Politics, Drama and Poetry. To sign up and…

One more: Tea and Books reading Challenge

I found one more reading challenge that is right up my alley.  I have a few heavy tomes sitting on the shelves that I just haven't tackled yet.   I'm joining The Book Garden's Tea and Books reading Challenge.  Here's what it is all about:

This challenge was inspired by C.S. Lewis' famous words, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

You better settle in with a large cup of tea, because in this challenge you will only get to read ... wait for it ... books with more than 700 pages. I'm deadly serious. We all have a few of those tomes on our shelves and somehow the amount of pages often prevents us from finally picking them up. You may choose novels only, no short story collections or anthologies, and in case you're trying a short cut by picking large print editions of a book, well I'm sorry, those do not qualify for this challenge! Let's battle those tomes that have been collecting dust on our s…

Row80 Mid Week Check in: plugging away

Despite the fact I've had a cold and finally getting over it, I've managed to do another 10,000 words for a total of 60,000 words on my current wip - Blue Steel.  Hubby has been very supportive of my personal nano bootcamp efforts and encouraging me to keep up with my word count.  He's a keeper.  I'm getting a good handle on my characters.   Throwing all kinds of things their way to mess with them and handle.  I did some additional brainstorming and almost gave myself a panic attack thinking this is getting too complicated.  Then I took a deep breath, reminded myself it is a rough draft and to keep plugging away. As long as it isn't stalled and I'm not writing in circles, I'm happy.The story is progressing.  
My goals are simple:  continue 1667 words a day and take off my blinders and visit and comment on 5 blogs a day.  As you can see my internal editor is still on vacation.  Way too many ands.  
How is everyone else fairing with their goals?  
Reading wise…

"We all have choices" my mother said.

One of my mother's favorite sayings our whole life has been "We all have choices." My brother recently posted this on facebook at the request of my niece. You never know it's getting through until suddenly they say yes, they were listening. My brother is the eloquent one in the family and says it best: 

"Throughout my life, I've had many mentors - my dad, martial arts instructors, teachers, friends - and learned a lot by making my own big mistakes. And each of these have taught me specific lessons, different details about how to continue to grow and change. But there is one person who taught me one lesson when I was very young. Who has throughout my entire life taught me ONE singular lesson. It's become such a common refrain that it's become sort of a joke among our family. And yet, I have recently come to realize it is THAT lesson which has become the foundation of all my other thoughts and how I've lived my life.

It didn't matter if it w…

December personal nanowrimo bootcamp

December is designated as my own personal novel writing boot camp.  I am determined to finish the first draft of Blue Steel by the end of the year instead of dragging it out over several months. So I am pushing onward and upward, 1667 words a day.  Made up my own little blackboard for incentive and pressing on.

2011 What's in a Name Challenge Completed

Rah Rah, zisk boom bah!   I completed the What's in a Name 4 challenge hosted by Best Fish Reads. The goal was to read 6 books in the following categories: 

A book with a number in the title: The Fifth Servant - Kenneth Wishnia A book with jewelry or a gem in the title: Red Heart of Jade - Marjorie M LiuA book with a size in the title: Long Gone - Alafair Burke
A book with travel or movement in the title: Heat Wave - Richard CastleA book with evil in the title:Secrets of the Demon - Diana RowlandA book with a life stage in the title: Wild Man Creek - Robyn Carr Check out what other folks read here.  Thank you to Candace of Beth Fish Reads for hosting such a fun challenge. Looking forward to the 2012 What's in a Name 5 and figuring out which books to read.