A Reading Challenge

Hello again!!

What a year 2016 was, and I’m SO glad it’s over. I’ve been quite absent on the blogosphere, but never fear! That was mostly due to many health issues that plagued me over the year and the corresponding depressive/anxious states that occurred alongside them.

I’m truly hoping to return to a more active presence here this year. Starting with…

A reading challenge! Created by one of my fellow bloggy/writing friends, John Guillen.

I did his reading challenge last year, as well, and I think this one will be even better! Last year I completed the challenge just by the sheer number of books I read (313), but this year, I’m planning it out a little more, so I have one book for every challenge listed.

I hope you partake! And go visit John’s blog ASAP! He always has something interesting to say about reading and writing and books. I’ve been a follower for years.

Happy 2017 everyone!

In 2016 I hosted my very own reading challenge for the first time. Of course I didn’t even complete it myself. So now I’m upping the stakes! Last year’s challenge included 20 books. This year’s includes 25. Branch out and read along with me as 2017 unfolds and I continue to diversify my habits. Take […]

via 2017 Reading Challenge Announcement! — Johnny Reads

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Blogging Slump

That’s right. I admit it.

I’ve been in a blogging slump. I just haven’t felt like blogging lately, but I’m totally okay with that. I do miss my bloggy buddies as most of you are the reason d’être that I started branching out into reading and writing other things.

But I’ve been focused on writing, reading, more reading, tons more writing, and a little sleeping/working knocked in there somewhere.

On top of that, this week is my last week at my current contract before I head to Maine for the spring/summer.

I’m too stressed right now to be 100% excited because I have so much to do before then, plus I’ve been dealing with some medical issues lately–the last three months, really–but haven’t mentioned it to anybody until last week. And the docs don’t know what it is. So. Yay.

Anywho…

A quick update on my life: I’m 60-some books into my 115 book goal for the year, reading-wise, but that doesn’t include books I’ve already re-read since the beginning of the year. If I did, that number would be in the high 70s.

I did a complete 100k rewrite in six weeks and I won a couple auctions through a literary agency and am getting feedback on my query letter, first 10 pages, and first 50 pages, from three different agents. Squee!! I’m most excited about that. How often do you get that opportunity?!?!?!!

 

What’s going on in your lives, my bloggy pals? I’ll update with more pictures and try to get back on the blogging bandwagon, especially since I signed up for Camp NaNo in April to help me finish the second book in my MG fantasy series.

Hugs and happy writing/reading to all!

 

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.
That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”
― Octavia E. Butler
“A normal reader reads to enjoy, a writer is in training”
― Bangambiki HabyarimanaThe Great Pearl of Wisdom

“You must write as if each word is a precious drop of blood, or a tear to be saved in a glass phial.”
― Chloe ThurlowKatie in Love

3 Quotes, 3 Days… Day Three!

For my third and final 3 Quotes, 3 Days challenge, it will take even more thinking and probing the depths of my memory to bring you a quote that I adore from my readings.

I believe I will choose a quote from the author that has most inspired me as a writer. Since I’m choosing quotes from books and since I’m a writer, it seems fitting.

But narrowing down the genius of L.M. Montgomery is a monumental undertaking.

Hmm…

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It was hard to choose, but here it is,

“In imagination she sailed over storied seas that wash the distant shining shores of “faëry lands forlorn,” where lost Atlantis and Elysium lie, with the evening star for pilot, to the land of Heart’s Desire. And she was richer in those dreams than in realities; for things seen pass away, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of the Island

I believe this encompasses my love for all things imagined, and one of the most inspirational books for me as a writer. I adore L.M. Montgomery, and if she were still alive, I’d do almost anything to meet and talk to her.

For my last day, I’m going to tag Herminia Chow over at aspiringwriter22. She posts beautiful poems, thoughtful questions, fun trivia, and generally makes me smile on a daily basis.

There you are! My three quotes in three days. If anyone else wants to participate, feel free!!! Tag yourself and be off! I love to see other peoples’ favorite quotes.

Cheerio!

3 Days, 3 Quotes… Day Two

Here I am on the second day of this challenge, and it’s even harder to pick a quote that I adore.

But I have to pick one, so it’ll be from “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” which is a book I’ve recently finished and absolutely fell in love with.

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“I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
― Brian SelznickThe Invention of Hugo Cabret

LOVE IT!!! Because we’re all here for a reason.

I’ll tag Caroline G. Sibley for this challenge today! I always enjoy her posts, and she knows SO much about history, which is one of my favorite subjects.

See you tomorrow!

3 Quotes, 3 Days… Day One!

My awesomely awesome bloggy friend, Rachel, tagged me for the Three Quotes, Three Days challenge. I love being tagged for challenges because it gives me something to blog about when my brain is on empty.

Rachel is an amazing writer and always has endearing, funny, thought-provoking and soul deepening posts on her blog. So go check her out!

I’ve seen this challenge floating around, but didn’t exactly know the rules. Apparently you post a favorite quote, but in some versions it says to post a quote from a book, for three days in a row. One each day. And nominate one person each day to participate.

Easy-peasy, rice-and-cheesy, right?

GAH!

I love quotes, if you haven’t noticed, yet. I post quotes at the end of every entry to sum up what I talked about and emphasize the point. Or to provide witty repartee.

So narrowing my choices down to just THREE will be hard, but I think I know the first one. For the purposes of this challenge, I will limit my quotes to books only, just to help myself out a little bit. Maybe another time I’ll do quotes by my favorite inspirational (real) people.

And here’s my first quote!

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From “The Fellowship of the Ring” in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gandalf wisely says,

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Such a profound quote, and so simply worded. I could expound on its meaning for days, but I’ll just let you enjoy it.

My first nominee is E.H. Bates from BumblesBooks. She’s one of my very favorite bloggy buddies, editing pal, and overall great friend. Have fun!

*Since this challenge is about quotes, I will forego my normal quoting at the end of posts until this challenge is over*

One Year Down…

Since I rarely pay attention to things like this, I was pleasantly surprised when I logged in to WP today and received a message saying today is my one year WP anniversary! Wow!

I knew it was some time in February last year, but I couldn’t remember when. It makes sense now, though, because I set a goal for myself to finish my book (one of the rewrites of it, anyway) by Valentine’s Day of last year. I suppose, now that I’m in yet another rewrite, it didn’t matter much when I finished that last version, but it was a goal.

I also remember that I sent out my first query letter last year around this time, and one of the places I sent it to requested a website. Ergh… I didn’t have one at the time, so I deleted my entry until I got my site up and running.

Come to find out, that was the only agency that required a website in the application. I will not say it’s been all for naught, though, because I’ve learned so much from all of you. And even just from the process of writing posts and such.

I don’t have hundreds of followers, and I’m fine with that. That wasn’t my goal when starting this blog.

I’ve shared my opinions, learned a TON, and met some pretty awesome people. Some of whom I now consider good friends. You know who you are.

So, thank you for everything you’ve taught me in the past year. Here’s hoping for many more to come!

Happy writing!

The Great North

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Ahhhhh… Up North.

For those outside of Michigan, it may be a strange circumstance, but going “up north” is something that happens all summer long, and often into the fall.

People from downstate buy or rent cabins on lakes, in the woods, and travel there for a weekend getaway.

I’m not sure how common this is in other states, but in Michigan, nearly everyone goes “up north” for the weekend. Or know somebody who does.

Well, I am currently up north. The first location of my traveling PT job is in the northern part of the lower peninsula in Michigan. Tons of snow, lots of deadly icicles, pictured above at the cabin I’m staying at, and a veritable wonderland of outdoor activities.

Since starting this new job a couple weeks ago, I’ve written more in my gargantuan re-write than I have in the past five months. I knew that would happen. Surrounded by nature and natural beauty never ceases to inspire me.

It also helps that I don’t have internet in the cabin I’m staying in. (My choice).

Although the internet has many uses, it is mighty distracting for someone who procrastinates with her writing because she’s often overwhelmed by the enormity of it.

I apologize if I don’t answer people as quickly as I used to, or am noticeable absent from the blogosphere for days at a time. I can’t get on with my work laptop, so the only time I can use the inter webs is when I haul myself to a coffee shop or the library.

And, God bless ’em, but the libraries in small towns close at 5 or 6 o’clock most days. Well, for us working stiffs, that doesn’t do much.

How has everyone else been? Have you made any headway on your writing lately?

Something I’ve learned in the past few weeks… turn off Mr. Negative!

Writing is such a personal process, like all the other arts, and it is all too easy to have your own personal storm of negativity constantly brewing storm clouds over your head.

I know it’s hard, I struggle with this on a daily basis. But push that storm away from your atmosphere and close your eyes. Write whatever comes to mind.

Ignore the “that stinks” or “are you sure?” or “nobody will like this” comments that filter through your mind.

Open yourselves up to the immense creativity we’re all capable of. Don’t go with the common route that’s been established by so many other authors.

Search for new avenues and let your mind wander into places you wouldn’t expect.

And have fun!

Happy writing, friends!

“The battle you are going through is not fueled by the words or actions of others; it is fueled by the mind that gives it importance.”
― Shannon L. Alder

“Try giving up all the thoughts that make you feel bad, or even just some of them, and see how doing that changes your life. You don’t need negative thoughts. All they have ever given you was a false self that suffers. They are all lies.”
― Gina LakeWhat about Now?: Reminders for Being in the Moment