Friday, November 30, 2012

I'm a novelist!

Just stopping by to say that I wrote 50,513 words in 30 days and I have won NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)! Woohoo! Now I'll have more time to read. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten...

Okay, I'm cheating this time for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The question for this Tuesday is "Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of 2013" and I don't know what is coming out in 2013. I tried a google search but couldn't get much of anything, so I'm skipping ahead to December 4th's topic - which is also my BIRTHDAY! Yippee! The topic for December 4th is (which I may do again on December 4th)...

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me (or books I would buy with gift cards)

1.) The End of Your Life Book Club by Schwalbe

2.) Trinity by Leon Uris
3.) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
4.) The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
5.) Red Rain by R.L. Stine
6.) The Trial by Franz Kafka
7.) Voluntary Madness by Norah Vincent
8.) Any book about hiking and survival
9.) Memoirs from unknown people (i.e. not celebrities)
10.) Barnes and Noble gift cards so I can pick what I want for my Nook

*edited for spelling; geez, a proofreader should be more careful don't ya think?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sundays In Bed With...

Hosted by Kate @ Midnight Book Girl, what are you reading today?

Well, I have restarted Truman Capote's In Cold Blood after I tried to get into Christopher Pike's Chain Letter and just couldn't get into it (I was only about 50 pages in, so I'll get back to it). I'm still working on National Novel Writing Month and have hit about 33,000 words but it's a far cry from the 50,000 I need to complete by the end of the month.

So how was everybody's Thanksgiving? I spent the day at my sister's who worked her butt off to make a wonderful dinner for the 14 of us. Spent some time with my 5 nieces and nephew, and got to take my brother's oldest to see Breaking Dawn 2 which was great and terrible at the same time. :) We ate too much, we slept well, we watched a couple of Christmas movies and today we are too lazy to start decorating just yet, so I'll go back to my reading for a while and then we'll start digging through the attic.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top Ten Books/Authors I'm Thankful For...

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, what are the top ten books/authors you are thankful for...

1.) Gone With The Wind: I'm thankful for a spunky Irish heroine in the South and her scallywag Yankee.
2.) The Help with Skeeter's passion, Aibileen's strength, Minny's honesty and poor Constantine. Plus an extra helping of chocolate pie.
3.) The Thornbirds - I'm always thankful for sweeping sagas and forbidden love.
4.) Anything Richard Scarry - My favorite character was Lowly Worm.
5.) Anything Bill Bryson - The man travels for me and I feel like I've been to these places plus he's hilarious. 
6.) A lot of Christopher Moore - Also hilarious. Especially the book, Lamb.
7.) Wuthering Heights - Perfect for winter.
8.) Jane Eyre - Also perfect for winter.
9.) A Tree Grows In Brooklyn - Classic!
10.) Harry Potter series - Ah, to live at Hogwart's...

And since it is Thanksgiving, I gotta mention The Hunger Games series - gives me goosebumps.

Happy Turkey Day to everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sundays in Bed With

Hosted by Kate @ Midnight Book Girl, this meme asks, "What are you reading this Sunday?" Well, I'm late to the game but I was curled up with nothin' yesterday. I had finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower Saturday and I haven't decided what to start on next. I'm still doing the 50,000 word challenge for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and am about half way to the goal plus my husband and I drove my niece back to college at Virginia Wesleyan and since I get nauseous reading in the car, I didn't take anything with me. Here are my choices for the next book. Since I need to read 5 before year end to catch up to my goal, I don't want to pick super long ones. Here are the choices so far: Please vote in the comments if you don't mind.

Chain Letter - Christopher Pike
The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (depending on length)
The Killer Inside Me - Jim Thompson
Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival - Joe Simpson
The Trial - Franz Kafka

Saturday, November 17, 2012

When I heard there was a book about a teenager called The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I rolled my eyes. I pictured a mousy little 14-year-old girl who couldn't get her crush to notice her so I put off buying the book and didn't even try and read what it was about. However, during some Christmas shopping, I had a 20% off coupon and thought, 'Alright, my niece loved it and I know a lot of other people who loved it so I'll give it a go.' 

First, the protagonist is a boy. An unusually passive and loving kid with social awkwardness and a mental health issue that often gets in the way. But his mind is a sponge for reading some of the best books written and his relationship with a brother and sister pair pulls him into a world of masturbation, sex, fun, drugs, alcohol, music and life ... and as Charlie puts it a feeling that he is "infinite." This book deals with so many issues including death, abuse, assault, homosexuality, sexuality in general and it is all told via letters from Charlie to a person he only knows will "listen." His writing is blunt, childlike and real but with a deep(ish) meaning hidden in each letter. There is a ton of dark comedy including a particularly funny reaction when Charlie has his first girlfriend who won't shut up. I think this should be mandatory reading in high school. Take out Catcher in the Rye (which I hated) and throw this book in the mix.

I would write more but it's my husband's birthday and it's time for cake. :)

Rating: Oh!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Books I'd Want On A Deserted Island

Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, this week's Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Books I'd Want On A Deserted Island. Well, today I am hella freakin' grumpy so I'm just doing a list without any reasoning why, although this book seems like it might come in handy...

But anyway...

1.) Jane Eyre
2.) Gone With The Wind
3.) The Hunger Games (first one)
4.) Harry Potter (either the third or fourth one)
5.) In a Sun Burnt Country by Bill Bryson
6.) Lamb by Christopher Moore
7.) African-American Literature Anthology
8.) Complete Works of Shakespeare
9.) The Bible
10.) A very long book that I have never read before

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sundays In Bed With...

Hosted by Midnight Book Girl, what are you spending your Sunday reading?

Well, I was going to start In Cold Blood by Truman Capote but I've been dedicated to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and trying for 50,000 words by the end of November. The novel is going fairly well but I did give myself carpal tunnel syndrome. I have a cool wrist sprint that looks like this:

A friend of mine thought I was flashing gang signs which would have been cooler.

So have I been reading? Yes, I spent over 40 hours this week reading direct mail for work where I'm a proofreader. This was my company's annual "push" where we have to work early mornings and late nights. Fortunately though, I did not have to work this weekend - WOOHOO! So last night, after having dinner with my hubby, we headed over to Barnes and Noble and I purchased "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and I started it and so far, it's awesome. I'm looking forward today to doing some more writing but then resting my poor wrist and digging in to The Perks...

Monday, November 5, 2012

10 things I hate about writing

In lieu of a list on books this week for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish... As you know, I'm in the middle of National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, for the month of November so in lieu of reading a book, I'm writing a book - 50,000 words to be exact and I love doing it for the most part, especially since I am not showing it to ANYONE (it's only for me). However, there are some things that frustrate the heck out of me.

1.) Finding the time: With working a full-time job Monday - Friday 8:30-5:30, I have little time to come up with ideas since I'm focusing on my real job. And it will be longer hours this week and part of next week as I will be working late nights, early mornings, through lunches and over this upcoming weekend for an annual busy season we have here. Thankfully, my company is awesome and they bring in tasty dinners for us all. But that's not all. With travel plans, Thanksgiving, my birthday, my husband's birthday AND our wedding anniversary all within 4 weeks, I have a lot going on. The good news is that my ideas, once formed, flow onto the computer screen all at once and I can type damn fast. 

2.) Vocabulary. I was an English major so this shouldn't be a problem but it is. I have to stop often because I can't think of the right word to use. This obviously stops the creative freestyle writing process as I have to go to every two paragraphs. An example was trying to talk about a character who was calm but then started asking questions rapidly. I knew I wanted him to sound like he was being a jerk and that he was being pushy with his questions but then I couldn't think of the word that was on the tip of my tongue. "He began to ask questions more __________ly". What is that word? Ah, "aggressively". I mean how weird is that? 

3.) Descriptions. I'm terrible at describing stuff. When I got married three years ago, women wanted me to describe my dress. "Uh, it's like white and has flat layers and has a medium-length train." My mother would then step in and describe it as "A-line, with thick stripes to match the bodice, simple, very traditional but with a uniqueness to it in the way it's layered, a sweep train and Katie, it's Stark White as opposed to diamond-white or eggshell..." Yeh, whatever. It was a dress and I liked it.

4.) Somehow getting the reader to understand why something is so important. I sometimes want to write out "Reader: pay attention to this because it will become important later on."

5.) Distractions. I had a ton of those this weekend as we traveled to and from Pennsylvania. First, I couldn't get my computer to work right. Then, we were doing family stuff. Then, finally on the way home, I pull out my laptop and try and write as my husband drove the first hour, but with his constant swearing at bad drivers and the annoying turns and twists, I just couldn't concentrate. Plus, I have a hard time writing in public places. I have to be home or somewhere by myself.

6.) Trying to remember feelings. Since some of this is autobiographical, I'm trying to remember feelings and senses for certain times and it's harder than I thought it would be. 

7.) Knowing that this is only for me. "I don't want anybody to read this." Yeh, I know that's what I said, but it might be nice to get a little feedback. If my husband is good, I might let him read it but that's still a big maybe.

8.) Knowing that I'm not Charlotte Bronte or Hemingway. Even though it feels good to be writing 50,000 words, I know it isn't a masterpiece. 

Eh, whatever - I got to get back to writing my book now. :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hosted by Midnight Book Girl, what are you reading this Sunday? 

I'm not reading anything today. We are in BF Egypt Mount Joy, PA visiting my in laws for the weekend. Actually it's a quaint little town close to the Amish and chocolate factories but it is permanently cloudy here. I don't think I have ever seen the sun in Pennsylvania and I lived in Wexford for a year and a half. 

Since I'm driving back (damn you, husband) this afternoon, I won't be able to read while driving I guess. (Sigh. I need to get some audio books) Once I get home I'll be preparing for a HUGE week at work with late nights, etc. but when I have time, I'm reading Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. I've only read a bit of it but man, this dude does awesome descriptions. Also, when I have time, I'll be working on my novel for November via National Novel Writing Month.

It's a busy month with stuff going on every weekend but when I do have downtime, there's nothing like chillin' with a book.