Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Five: Camp and Other Nonsense

1. My oldest has been away at camp all week. Of course it has poured buckets of rain all week. I'm hoping that she had a good time. It's the first time I've sent my one of my kids away for a week without it being family.

2. I was up late writing last night, pulling parts of my plot together. But I'm sure feeling it this morning. Is it my age that I can't seem to handle anything past 1:00 am anymore. Just last year I was pulling 2:00 or 3:00 without huge penalties. Now I'm exhausted!

3. I started out with an in-person critique group, and joined an online one. I did both for awhile, and then things got too busy and I left the in-person grow, which has since dissolved with people moving away. I love my online group, but I'm thinking about joining another in person group in addition to my online one. It's scary because I'm so introverted.

4. With working from home, and my introverted issues, I think I'd be a hermit if I didn't have kids. I could see days where I wouldn't talk to anyone. It's crazy to think about it honestly. I need to push myself outside of my shell a bit more.

5. I am taking the boys ice skating today, which means pulling out the jackets and winter box of gloves and hats. We discovered ice skating last fall and the boys love it. Especially Jacob. I always feel a bit silly dressing like it's the middle of winter in July, but it is very necessary.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Books I Love: Breathe Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

I have been a big Miranda Kenneally fan since I read her first book, Catching Jordan, a few years ago. I was looking forward to reading this book. And I wasn't disappointed, in fact I think this is my favorite out of all of the books that she's written. It's the kind of book that when I finished, I wanted to pick it up and start reading it over again. I think she did a great job capturing how Annie was feeling, and I really identified with Annie and her grief.

Annie has decided to run a marathon in honor of her boyfriend who passed away. The story is about her training, and learning to move forward after the boy she planned to spend the rest of her life with passes away. Another great part of this book is the number of characters we get to see again, and how it made me want to go read their stories again. Definitely worth reading this summer, if you haven't picked it up.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Writing Wednesday: Hearing Voices--snatches of dialogue

I know I've hit the groove of a story when I'm planning out dialogue between characters as I complete my other tasks throughout the day. Sometimes that can be frustrating, because I know I'm going to lose whatever I'm thinking about. I've seriously thought about finding a way to record it. (I don't have a smart phone) And eventually I'm going to have to get some sort of voice recording software for when my typing skills disappear. (But that's a story for another time).

My biggest problem with that is computers and smart devices, tablets, etc seem to think I don't exist. My husband says the voice thing is because I mumble, but I don't think I mumble. But also they don't respond about fifty percent of the time when I swipe or press buttons or whatever. I think I am a technology ghost and soon I will stop existing.

I read a great book yesterday that just came out, and I will post about it on Monday. It had several similar elements to my Steve and Aimee book, but it's different enough that I should be okay still writing. When I finished reading, I just wanted to start working on my story even more. It's not often that I can say that about a book.

How do you deal with ideas that come to you while you are out and about or doing other things? I'd love to hear your strategies.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Books I Love: The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

Maddie is a cheerleader, and a closet comic book fan. She hides everything about her love of comic books because she is afraid her friends will find out and stop wanting to hang out with her. Her world begins to change when she goes into the local comic shop to get the last edition of her favorite comic. She meets a cute boy and is slowly sucked into his world of comics, role playing and video games. Along the way Maddie finds herself lying to those that she cares about the most, and she has to learn how to balance both parts of herself.

This was a great read. It was endearing. One of my favorite parts of this book is that most of the judging came from Maddie herself, not her friends or other people. I love books that point out the fact that people don't usually fit into just one mold or the other. It was a fun read. Great for a summer day.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Five: Reading and Summer Fun

1.  I have a twelve-year-old daughter who has just got the reading bug. She's always been a discriminate reader. If she loves something, she reads the series super fast and then doesn't read for awhile. Because of her friends she read Twilight over the last few weeks of school. And I just got her started on Ally Carter. It's so exciting to me, because she is venturing into the world of YA, which has some of my favorite books and series I've wanted to introduce her too for ages.

2. My boys on the other hand have completely sworn off reading. It is summer and they will not do anything related to school, no matter how much I try to convince them otherwise. It can be frustrating, especially because I know how much reading can help them. However, they are well-versed in Minecraft, YouTube and silly prank videos.

3. We've had bad luck with car door handles in the last month, with one on my van, and one in my husband's car. Fortunately, the fixes don't look too hard, so it is just going to be the cost of parts. But it is still a bit crazy that they both broke.

4. When I'm working, I sit at my desk which faces an open window. I love to pull up the blinds and stare at the trees just outside of the window. On one of the trunks, there is a face in the trees. It's where some branches were either timed back or fell off, but it looks exactly like two eyes and a mouth. It's funny to see the face staring back at me. I also love to see the blue birds and cardinals that fly around back there.

5. It's funny because when I was a bit younger, I always wanted my kids to sleep in, so I could. I wanted desperately to sleep much later then they would let me, but now that they've started to sleep in I'm waking up all on my own between 6:00 and 7:00 each morning. I don't understand this. I'm still staying up late. It's making me exhausted.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Writing Wednesday

Last week, I was reading a blog post that recommended reading 2k to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron. The book was only 99 cents, so I decide to go ahead an purchase it. It was a quick read and I really liked the ideas she offered to help you boost your productivity. Great ideas, that mostly involved planning before you write.  Another thing she did was track her productivity with words per session and words per hour. She figured out her most productive times to write.

I really liked the advice that she gave in the book, and I'm going to try implementing over the next few weeks. I'll give a report back about what worked for me and what didn't. Maybe you should check out the books and see if her suggestions work with your writing style.

What do you do to increase your word count?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Books I Love: How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend by Allyson Valentine

This is a totally fun book about Nora who is determined to leave behind her geeky smart image and focus on being popular. She makes the cheerleading squad, and the hottest guy in school is interested in her. She couldn't be happier until Adam moves to town. Adam doesn't seem impressed by her popularity, but he is smart. Nora sets out to win him over by proving how smart she is.

I really enjoyed this book when I first read it in the fall, and I enjoyed it again on my second read through. It's fun, while sharing the message that it's okay to be smart and not everyone is judging you in the ways that you think. A totally fun read. Have you read it? What did you think?