I just wanted to take a minute to tell you all about something new I tried this month.
Let’s start with this is the pile of books that I own but haven’t read. (To those of us who read a lot and talk about it online, my TBR pile).
I know! It’s ridiculous. I just love books. I feel like it’s never money wasted.
Counting all the physical books and e-books I own, I have roughly 160 books that I own but haven’t read. (For me that would take about 4 years, so still doable in my lifetime for all you haters). However, I have a tendency to read only the newly purchased ones. In order to make myself read some of the older ones, I put all the books in a spreadsheet and used a random number generator to choose my reading for the month of September. This is what I ended up with:
I usually pick 4-5 books at the beginning of each month to read. And in the fall, I tend to choose only 4 because NANO is coming up and I spend more time writing this time of year.
I enjoyed every book this month! It was nice to read a variety of genres too. I ended up with a YA adventure novel, a true crime book, a thriller, and a mystery. I recommend trying this for anyone trying to tackle their TBR pile.
Next month I’m choosing the pile with a theme, but in November, it’s back to the random number generator and I can’t wait!
If I haven’t mentioned it lately, I have two books that are available on Amazon. As I’m getting closer to finishing book three, I just wanted to remind everyone that you need to read the first two before the third one is released.
The third book is going to be the ending of the series (for now). You don’t want to miss the epic conclusion!
If you are looking for adventure, my books are for you!
If you’re looking for mythical creatures and magical elements, my books are for you.
If you’re reading at a fifth grade level and up, my books are for you. (I wrote my first book at a level my daughter, who was 10 at the time, could read. Because of that, this series has inadvertently become a middle grade reader).
If you just want to see what I’m always carrying on about, my books are for you!
You get the idea…
Happy reading and writing today and every day!
Here are the links to my books, (you can even read a sample before you buy):
This point in the year is usually when I sit down and assess how my yearly goals are going. One of my goals this year, as you might have guessed, is to finish and publish novel #3 in my YA book series.
So how is it going?
It’s actually off to a great start. At this moment, I’m a little over 50,000 words into the story, and I’m not finished with the second part yet. If you’ve read my other two books, you may have noticed that both were broken into three parts. This book is also sectioned that way.
This story is also going to be the last part of this trilogy. I may come back and write more stories in this world later, but I think I’m going to work on a different project after this. (I’m also going to work on getting published the traditional way. Wish me luck).
I don’t plan to abandon Jamie and her friends forever, but I want to work on something I’ve been brewing for a while now. When I do return to Jamie’s friends, I’m thinking about writing a story from a different character’s point of view. I think the story of Zak and how he became a unicorn hunter at such a young age would be fun. I also want to write about what went down when the two worlds collided. And then there are the Sisters of Rising Magic. (So many options…).
Anyway… back to novel #3… I’m not quite 2/3 of the way done, and this one is tying up many stories and ending with something epic (no spoilers). That being said, this book will probably be a bit longer than the other two. I want to give Jamie and her friends an ending they deserve.
When I wrote the first two books, I wrote the first 2/3 of each book in about the same amount of time it took me to write the last third. Even though I always start my book knowing how I want it to end, I work carefully and slowly on the end to make sure it makes sense how it got there. For me, the last third needs to be solid.
With that in mind, I am rereading the first two thirds right now and making sure details connect the way I want them too, and then I will write the last bit. I’m very excited about the last third (no spoilers… but it’s gonna be good).
If you haven’t read them yet, there is definitely still time before book #3 comes out… Check them out by clicking the titles below:
In an effort to actually motivate myself to get things done, I’ve been making myself a list (in my head) each morning of the three things I have to do BEFORE I am allowing myself to play video games or watch tv. Believe it or not, this has been working for me. I’m pretty good at holding myself accountable (sometimes).
Additionally, I’ve been working on some self improvement things in my diet by trying to drink less caffeine. I have given up soda (though about once a week, I have one), and I’ve given up drinking sweet tea too. At first I was having horrible headaches, but I’m doing much better now. I didn’t give them both up at once. I cut out soda in January and once I felt like I had a handle on not wanting it ALL THE TIME, I gave up tea. Now the only caffeine I have each day is in my cappuccino in the morning and one in the afternoon. In addition to drinking less caffeine, I’ve altered my sleep schedule. I’m not going to lie, I usually have a horrible sleeping schedule. I stay up WAY TOO LATE and sleep in way too late. I’ve been working on it for a month or so now and I’ve been doing much better. I try to be asleep by midnight and up around 9. I’ve never been a morning person, and believe it or not, this is a big change for me.
Anyway, that’s enough about me… let’s get down to the real reason you’re here… the short story of the month prompt for March:
I said it and I meant it, and I was right. Still, I wish I could take it back, because there’s no way I can make it up to her, no way I can ever make her feel…
Complete the Story
Now, get writing!!
And as always, happy reading and writing today and everyday!
Less than a month ago, my family said goodbye to one of our dogs. He was 16 years old and had been losing the battle with a brain tumor since November last year. We knew it was finally time to say goodbye because he would get up and eat breakfast each day and after that just sit down and stare at a wall. He had zero enthusiasm for anything. He was also struggling to walk and use the bathroom. His quality of life was gone.
Despite that, it was still hard to say goodbye. My husband and I only have one child, and our pets are like our babies. And I know 16 years is a nice life for a dog, but I must be selfish because I don’t care. I wanted him to live longer. It’s been a few weeks and I still have to stop myself from getting him a plate at meals times like I do for the other pets.
In addition to missing him like crazy, I’ve been thinking back on his life with us. He had a good life. I’m not saying that to sound superior. We take good care of our pets. They are important to us.
The absence of Napoleon has left a dachshund sized hole in my heart. I wish we could have had more time together, and I hope he knows how much he was loved.
Napoleon was the first dog we adopted. We actually adopted him after we went on a 9 day camping trip to Yellowstone. At the time in 2004, my husband and I were young and newly married. We went to Yellowstone and camped, really camped, in a tent, without showers, on the ground. While we were there we ran trails, (this was a long time ago when I still ran), and we swam in the lakes. We saw so many people camping with their dogs, and on that trip we decided we were going to get a dog so that next year when we went camping, we would have one too.
Shortly after that trip, we adopted Napoleon. I don’t know how we decided on a mini dachshund, but when I saw him, I knew he was ours. We brought him home and introduced him to our cat, Electra.
The next spring, we decided to go camping again. We were excited because we would finally get to take Napoleon with us. We had been taking him running on trails throughout the fall and spring and he enjoyed that, so we figured he would enjoy camping.
The first night of our camping trip, he couldn’t sleep. He paced and paced the tent looking for a real bed. (At home he slept in bed between my husband and I). Not only would he not sleep because sleeping on the ground was not his style, he acted like being outside was too hot. He clearly wanted to know where the AC was. My husband and I thought he was hilarious. We figured he would adjust; we were planning on staying 5 days.
The second day of our trip, we went swimming in the lake, and of course we took Napoleon with us. It turns out he was an excellent swimmer. He looked like a river otter and he was pretty fast.
My husband and I would take turns carrying him out into the lake, and the other would wait closer to the shore. Then, we would release Napoleon and he swam to other person. After about the sixth time of this, Napoleon figured out our game and instead of swimming to the waiting arms of my husband, he veered right and went for the shore. Once on shore, he took off running.
My husband jumped out of the lake and followed. I got out of the lake and waited for them to return, but after twenty minutes, they didn’t show up. I gathered our clothes, picnic things, and floats and waddled my way down the path back to the campground. On the way back, I passed a family heading to the lake. I asked them if they’d seen a tall man and a short dog running on the path. They laughed and pointed back towards camp informing me that they were all the way back at our campsite.
I found them both there. My husband was laughing. Napoleon was supposed to be our camping companion. He HATED camping. He wanted his bed and indoor air, but most of all, he didn’t want to swim.
We didn’t stay a full five days and cut that trip short to three days. After that, we didn’t take Napoleon camping anymore. He didn’t turn out to be outdoorsy, and that’s okay.
This month has been pretty great so far. I’m taking the time and settling into my new routine for the year. (Just in time for it to change again as my daughter might finally get to attend in person school again, which we are both super excited about). However, as I’ve been working on my new goals for this year, I’ve also been reflecting on what I actually accomplished last year. Despite the superbly weird year that it was, it wasn’t all bad.
Here’s what I actually managed to accomplish…
Read 40 books (I’ve underlined the ones that were high points in the year for me).
The Library of the Unwritten
The Starless Sea
The Destined Queen
Bright Lights, Big City
Night and Day
The Shadow of the Wind
I adored this book. I don’t want to give away the plot but it’s about love and revenge. It’s soooooo good. READ IT.
Locke and Key Vol.1
Batman Arkham: Black Mask
This Mortal Coil
I sat down to read this and didn’t get up till I was done. Imagine being and working for grim reapers in a society where people don’t die anymore…..
The Stone Sky
This is the third book in a series. If you haven’t, read them all. The series is amazing and this was the perfect end to it.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web
The Left Hand of Darkness
When You Reach Me
The Lovely Bones
Follow Me to the Ground
This book definitely falls into the “weird tale” category of fiction. It’s bizarre and amazing. I can’t explain it; it’s too weird. Read it.
The City We Became
This Savage Song
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
The Dreaming Vol.2
Walk Two Moons
Our Dark Duet
The Constant Rabbit
The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home Vol. 1
Black Market Unicorns
Word by Word
This is a non-fiction book about how dictionary entries are completed. I found this whole book fascinating, and the author is funny. Great read!
The Lost Plot
The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home Vol. 2
Born a Crime
Wrote and published my second novel
If you haven’t heard, the second book in my series is out now on Amaon! Buy your own copy here:
I stitched her some flowers with a snarky saying. It’s one of my favorite projects I’ve completed. (You can see it below this list).
We moved from Kansas to Washington, and even though it was rough, we did it! We are settled in now and everything is going pretty good here. I just can’t wait for the schools to open because my daughter is getting cabin fever!
All in all, it wasn’t a bad year. It was challenging, I’ll give you that. Anyway… let’s move on…
It’s only 10 days till November. I am still undecided if I’m going to participate in NANOWRIMO this year. I love NANOWRIMO! and not doing it leaves me feeling sad. But, this year just doesn’t seem to be the year for it. What do you think? Are you participating?
I have so many things I would like to get done in November, and if I do NANOWRIMO those things will get put on the back burner. I just don’t know! (Picture me with hands thrown up in the air simmering with frustration).
Honestly, I’ve always thought NANOWRIMO should be in January or something…
Hope everyone is having a good month! Happy reading and writing!