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Showing posts from December, 2012

2013 Writing Mindfully

Last year, my year of writing deliberately fell apart and I lost that sense of wonder, sense of joy for writing. I've given it quite a bit of thought to why this was so and decided that 2013 will be the year of Writing Mindfully. I will embrace the ebb and flow of my creativity and let my imagination take flight. I will study and contemplate, write and explore, find the joy in creating and editing, and not limit myself.

My goals for 2013
To help with writing mindfully, I will be using Bonnie Neubauer's The Write Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to liberate your writing to exercise my writing muscles. 

Instead of a daily quota for my novel writing word count, I'm going to follow James Scott Bell's advice and establish a weekly word count of 3500 words. Since I hand write everything, on average I usually end up writing 2 full pages at one sitting which is approximately 1000.   Invariably I only end up writing 4 or 5 days out of the week so having a weekly word co…

2012 Reading Wrap up

 2012 Reading Wrap up

How many books did you read this year?129 at this point and half were ebooks.  I successfully completed the A to Z Challenge by title, read 25 new authors for the New Author Challenge and 6 books for Beth Fish Reads What's in a Name.  I only managed to read about 27 physical books in my tbr pile prior to 2012 for the Mount TBR Reading challenge since ebooks didn't count.  For every book I read, I probably added 5 more to my TBR pile. I read 4 chunky books for Tea and Books read a book over 700 pages long challenge. 

Did you meet or beat your own personal goal? I really didn't have a specific goal, just to slow down and enjoy my reads.

Favorite top 5 books of 2012:

Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall.  One of the most unique stories I ever written.
The Rose Labyrinth by Titanie Hardi
Night Circusby Erin Morgenstern
The Last Refuge by Ben Coes
By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz

Favorite Series: Urban FantasyAllie Beckstrom series by Devon Monk

Favorite Audi…

Merry Christmas!

2012 Writing Wrap up!

My year of writing deliberately turned in a year of learning more than writing. My left brain was busy learning while my creative right brain took a vacation for a good part of the year.  I did three 4 week workshops plus a critique class through Savvy AuthorsDeep Story, Business of Creative Writing and Editing the Heck Out of Things.   Also completed the F2K Creative Writing Course through Writer's Village University.   I'm more impressed with WVU accomplishing more in 6 weeks than I did through SA. Plus their offering of courses towards a DYI  MFA is awesome, which I plan on taking advantage of.   

The more I learned, the more it led to Joseph Campbell's mythic structure and the Heroes Journey.  Through the course of the year I came across several authors, whether reading their books or online, talking about Campbell's mythic structure.  Some went really deep and complex such as Carol Hughes (I found her quite mythical)  with her 18 act deep story structure and som…

2013 Reading Plan

I know I haven't wrapped up 2012 and still have a couple books to go to complete the A to Z challenge.  However, have been working on 2013 reading plans. 
I am hosting the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge which includes several mini challenges. My goal for 2013 is to read those books that have been on my shelves gathering dust. Also those chunky (over 500 pages) and long forgotten books - ones that have been calling my name for quite a while. Once again, I'll be instituting a buying ban for the first four months of the new year until I've managed to whittle down my TBR pile.

I have come up with several categories and I'm going with 12 or more chunky books: Have Mercy Baby and 12 or more dusty books: Croon for me - Bobby Darrin A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness  (592)Betrayal - John Lescroat (567)Black Order - James Rollins (622)Dr. Zhivago - Boris Pasternak  (519)  Dragonfly in Amber #2 - Diana Gabaldon  (947)Hopscotch - Julio Cortazar (564)Inheritance (#4 …

The Theory of Everything by J.J. Johnson

"Just because everyone else thinks you should be over it doesn't mean you are.

Last year, Sarah's best friend Jamie died in a freak accident. Back then, everyone was sad; now they're just ready for Sarah to get over it and move on.

But Sarah's not ready to move on. She can't stop reliving what happened, struggling with guilt, questioning the meaning of life, and missing her best friend. Her grades are plummeting, her relationships are falling apart, and her normal voice seems to have been replaced with a snark box. Life just seems random: no pattern, no meaning, no rules - and no reason to bother.

In a last-ditch effort to pull it together, Sarah befriends Jamie's twin brother Emmett, who may be the only other person who understands what she's lost. And when she gets a job working for the local eccentric who owns a Christmas tree farm, she finally begins to understand the threads that connect us all, the benefit of …

The Last Refuge by Ben Coes

"Off a quiet street in Brooklyn, Israeli Special Forces commander Kohl Meir is captured by operatives of Iranian intelligence, who smuggle Meir back to Tehran, where he’s imprisoned in Iran’s most notorious penitentiary –Evin – then tortured and prepared for a show trial that will likely lead to the firing squad.

Only hours before, Meir had been tipped off that Iran had finally succeeded in building its first nuclear weapon, one they were planning to use to attack Israel. Meir’s source was a high level Iranian government official and his proof was a photo of the bomb itself. Meir was in the U.S. to recruit Dewey Andreas for a secret operation to destroy the Iranian bomb. His capture by Iran put an end to all that.

Dewey Andreas, a former member of Delta, owes his life to Meir and the team of Israeli commandos who saved his life. Now to repay his debt, Dewey must attempt the impossible – rescue Meir from Evin, and find and eliminate Iran’s nuclear bomb before it’s brough…

The Bookseller by Mark Pryor

"Who is killing the celebrated bouquinistes of Paris?
Max—an elderly Paris bookstall owner—is abducted at gunpoint. His friend, Hugo Marston, head of security at the US embassy, looks on helplessly, powerless to do anything to stop the kidnapper.
Marston launches a search, enlisting the help of semiretired CIA agent Tom Green. Their investigation reveals that Max was a Holocaust survivor and later became a Nazi hunter. Is his disappearance somehow tied to his grim history, or even to the mysterious old books he sold?

On the streets of Paris, tensions are rising as rival drug gangs engage in violent turf wars. Before long, other booksellers start to disappear, their bodies found floating in the Seine. Though the police are not interested in his opinion, Marston is convinced the hostilities have something to do with the murders of these bouquinistes.

Then he himself becomes a target of the unknown assassins."  With Tom by his side, Marston fin…

ROW 80 Chapbook: Writing with the Breath

I've been writing blog posts, catching up with book reviews and prepping for the 2013 round of 52 Books in 52 weeks.  Also have been more into reading books about writing rather than actually working on my current WIP.  I've been rethinking creating and writing a whole new story when I have a couple in the works already that need major editing.  And I've haven't been writing those 500 words every day and I find myself getting extremely cranky.  And you know what happens when you get cranky, you get negative and with negativity, that leads to doubt about your writing, you as a writer, why are you doing this.  All those wonderful gremlins that like to visit you in the middle of the night. 

Which is where Writing Begins with the Breath comes in - positive light and energy. Part one covers Focusing the Mind, part two covers the Deep Writing Process and part three covers Embracing What and Where you are.    So many parts of this book really spoke to me and wish I c…

The Taken by Vicki Pettersson

"Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was back when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Fifty years later, he’s a celestial Centurion, assisting the recently, and violently, dead. Yet just because he’s an angel doesn’t mean he’s a saint. One small mistake has altered fate, and now he’s been dumped back onto to the mortal mudflat to collect another soul—Katherine “Kit” Craig, a journalist whose latest investigation is about to get her clipped.

Bucking heavenly orders, Grif refuses to let this sable-haired siren with hairpin curves come to harm. Besides, protecting her offers a chance to find the truth about his own mysterious death — and wreak some vengeance for the murder of his beloved wife, Evie.

Joining forces, Kit and Grif’s search for answers leads beyond the blinding lights of the Strip into the dark heart of an evil conspiracy. But a ruthless killer determined to destroy them isn’t Griffin’s biggest threat. His growing attraction to Kit…

Blood Line by Lynda La Plante

"Still reeling from the death of her fiance, Detective Anna Travis has thrown herself fully into her new role as the murder squad's Detective Chief Inspector. But when the station's missing person's bureau turns up nothing to help locate the son of a familiar court employee, Detective Chief Superintendent James Langton - Anna's former lover turned sometimes friend - urges her to take on the suspicious case.  

Anna agrees to take charge of the investigation under Langton's watchful eye.  But is it purely a missing persons case-- or a full blown murder inquiry? An ominous pool of blood with no locatable victim leads Anna on a desperate hunt for a man who has disappeared without a trace.  With no body, and increasing pressure to make an arrest, Anna becomes obsessed with the smallest details of the case.  Now, one man has vanished, a killer may be loose on the streets and, as Langton looks on, Anna Travis may be losing control of the case--and herself."

After …

Journeys on the Silk Road

Journey on the Silk Road 

A desert explorer, Buddha's secret library, and the unearthing of the world's oldest printed bookBy Joyce Morgan and Conrad Walters"When a Chinese monk broke through a hidden door in 1900, he uncovered one of history's greatest literary secrets: a thousand-year-old time capsule of life along the ancient Silk Road. Inside the chamber on the edge of the Gobi Desert, documents were piled from floor to ceiling. The gem among them was the Diamond Sutra of 868 AD, now recognized as the world's oldest printed book. 

The sutra, a key Buddhist teaching, was made nearly 600 years before printing transformed European civilization. The book's journey — by camel through treacherous deserts, by boat to London's curious scholars, by train to evade the bombs of World War II — merges an explorer's adventures, political intrigue and continued controversy. 

The words of the Diamond Sutra have inspired Jack Kerouac, Aldous Huxley and the…

Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell

According to Maya legend, December 21, 2012, will mark the end of the world as we know it. Is it myth . . . or will their prediction become reality?
Archaeologist Lina Taylor has devoted her life to studying ancient Maya artifacts, splitting her time between digs in Yucatan and the classroom teaching college students. But the professor’s structured, academic life is about to spin out of control. Some extremely valuable and important Maya artifacts have gone missing. Are the culprits fanatics determined to create chaos and usher in annihilation?

Helping out a friend, former immigration and customs enforcement officer Hunter Johnston is determined to recover the missing pieces and he needs Lina’s help. A man used to calling the shots and working alone, he isn’t comfortable letting anyone get close, especially a beautiful and brainy woman like Lina. His gift for reading people tells him there’s a lot going on below that professional exterior, and he’s more than a little curi…

The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

"Eric Sanderson wakes up in a house he doesn't recognize, unable to remember anything of his life. All he has left are his diary entries recalling Clio, a perfect love who died under mysterious circumstances and a house that may contain the secrets to Eric's prior life.  But there may be more to this story, or it may be a different story altogether.  With the help of allies found on the fringes of society, Eric embarks on an edge of your seat journey to uncover the truth about himself and to escape the predatory forces that threaten to consume him."

The Raw Shark Texts is one of the most imaginative and unique books I have read in a long time and I loved it.  Eric unleashes a ludovician, a conceptual fish that eats memories which is why he doesn't remember.  When he starts receiving letters from himself, he follows the clues and is a lead on a wild journey trying to piece together his memories and find his life, meanwhile never knowing quite who to trust and if he…

Sunday Salon: Keeping UPS busy

Happy Sunday. A little more than 2 weeks before Christmas and I haven't even started doing our Christmas shopping yet.   It was warm today and didn't feel much like winter weather as my morning glory are still blooming.  Time to make a list and check it twice and see who has been naughty or nice.  *grin*.  I've been especially nice to myself and went on a book buying spree with the money my parents sent for my birthday.  

I've added an eclectic assortment of fiction and nonfiction books and ebooks to my library this past couple weeks along with the next two books in Stephen King's Dark Tower series # 3 The Waste Lands and #4 Wizard and Glass.  

I'm currently reading The Great Hunt, #2 in the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for writers.

I really haven't gotten back into a fictional writing mood but James is still going strong and working on yet another story.  I'm rather proud of him.   …

Sunday Salon: Challenges

Happy December!  I had a wonderful birthday and we had a very enjoyable quiet Thanksgiving.  James gave me a couple books and Hubby gave me a new Nook Hd + tablet which is absolutely awesome except for when he and James are borrowing it to play Angry Birds.  LOL!   My folks gave me a nice check which has come in handy for those end of the year books I've been wanting to get my hands on.  I think I have the my eyes are bigger than my stomach syndrome, because there are so many I want when already have a huge teetering pile of books.

Reading wise, I've been looking at all the book challenges, what books I still have in my TBR pile and those still on my wishlist.  So.....   One,  I'm going to institute a buying ban come January 1st which will probably last through April and concentrate on those wonderful books that have been calling my name.  And I'll be limiting the number of challenges.

I am hosting Read 52 books in 52 Weeks again in 2013 and we'll be doing s…