Hi there kind visitor, thanks for stopping by. I hope you find my blog interesting, and if you do maybe you want to follow me and hit that like button/star/icon and perhaps even leave a comment! Woo hoo that would be lovely.
But that’s not what this sticky post is for. I just wanted to say hold on friends, you are not alone. I don’t know your circumstances but I’m praying for us all that God bless the scientists, professionals, and everyone working around the clock to get this coronavirus under control to some extent. May they find the treatment we need, be successful in developing a vaccine, and keep us all safe and well by implementing policies and directions that will help slow the spread of the virus and provide us some relief.
Social distancing, self-isolating, and quarantining are not easy. No doubt it’s easier for some more than others. I’m thinking of you. I’m praying for you and your family. Hunker down but don’t panic. Make sure you have necessary supplies – like medications and pet food too – but don’t hoard and keep others from getting what they need. Don’t forget to care for your mental wellness as well as your physical. This kind of situation can be super trying on our minds, and stress does not do a body good. So be sure to talk to each other, share your concerns, don’t be afraid to laugh, smile, get some sunshine (safely), and get some exercise whatever that looks like for you.
If you’re interested I put together a survey thing just testing it out and getting a feel for things. I like quizzes and surveys so maybe you do too. My questions revolve around what you’re maybe or maybe not doing to keep yourself sane and occupied during this time, with regard to reading. It should follow this paragraph if I did it right. If you don’t want to take it, no worries, I’m just glad you’re here. 😀 Oh and hit the next button to start the survey. I’m not gathering info for anything other than my and your curiosity. I’ll probably leave this up for the week then share the results, without names unless you say oh oh eLPy talk about me, no promises on that end. 😉 I will then toss up another survey because I think this is gonna be fun.
Back again for my new weekly writing challenge. This week we’re doing 47 words. I might be a day behind or I might be right on time, maybe it’s Friday, maybe it’s Saturday or Sunday! But I am late in getting it out even for Sunday delivery so here we go. The theme is breaking habits.
Sometimes I put so much thought and emotion – okay all the time – into my writing that I wind up avoiding it all together, even if not intentionally. Writing this makes me think twice about my theme, maybe it should be focus? See? Too much thinking. Sure focus is another thing I need to work on but let’s do one theme at a time. Since my writing can take so much mental energy I become easily distracted. And I give in a lot, especially to over-thinking which is the killer of doing!
Part of the reason I give in a lot is because I have bad habits, things I can turn to instead of ___________ I like to run the TV in the background for distraction. Isn’t that very idea counter-intuitive? I’ve discovered that a lot of us do this. There’s just this need for some kind of noise in the background. Even then it’s not just the noise but the activity. I’m plenty happy if there’s at least something moving, running around on the TV, while I keep it mute or very near so. Still I make sure to put something on that is at least a tiny bit interesting. Ugh…no…that means there’s always something to fall back on.
There are times where I’ll write in spurts. I’ll write some 1,500 to 3,000 words then just kind of sputter to a stop. This is normal I know, I’ve heard about the method of writing for 20 or 25 minutes at a time then take a break. My bad habit here is that my break winds up taking WAY more time than it should. A break at work is like 5, 10, 15 minutes if you’re lucky. The other night I chose to play logic puzzles on my phone. I picked hard (doh, you know that’s going to take longer whereas medium will take under 5 minutes, oh but my reasoning was let’s see if I can’t be awesome and do a hard one super fast) and 45 minutes later I gave up on the puzzle mad that I’d abandoned my writing which is something I actually care about. Guess what? Then I was tired as it was well passed bed time.
I have bad habits. I love to eat, plenty of bad habits right there. I like to watch TV and movies. More there. I like to play games. Oh gosh… These are not wholly bad things. They themselves are not bad habits but in the context of my life they become bad habits. Just like reading is not bad, no no, but reading when you should be working or cleaning or maybe you read for fun when you’re supposed to be reading for school? You see my point.
So along with this prompt let’s break a few bad habits, at least on my end.
If I’m not gonna watch it, no TV. (Not only will this help my writing practice but it’ll save energy and money! And yes there are gobs of other points we can make and habits we can break with regard to the TV but we’re keeping it simple, for now.)
Breaks are to be no more than 10 minutes between writing sessions.
Don’t eat just because you can and/or are bored.
I’ll check in next week with how this went. For now, here’s my 47-word flash fiction piece centered on breaking habits. By the way, you can translate this how you wish for your piece. If you decide not to write fiction please don’t forget to mention that. And now here’s my piece:
I don’t know what I was thinking, that day. When I look back, I don’t think I was. I was fed up. Tired of not doing anything and doing everything the same.
First thing, I started doing, not doubting. When the magic came, I went to work.
There we have it for this week’s flash-fiction prompt, 47-words no more no less. If you have a website/blog please link back to this here original post and post your story and/or link in the comments below. I may eventually use photo prompts as well seeing as I like to dabble in photography. I’ve got some cool images we could have fun with. 😉 You can expect another flash fiction prompt next weekend.
Hello everyone! How have the first two days of July been for you? Hot? Yeah…hot, but so far so good I think.
If you don’t know National Novel Writing Month is officially in November however the organization (yes NaNoWriMo is an organization that does a lot of work besides host this fantastic event) also hosts camps in April and July every year. Which means this is day 2 of July camp! It’s free to sign up. You can set your goal however it pleases you; you can base it on number of hours writing or researching, number of words total and more. Typically official NaNoWriMo’s goal is to complete a novel in a month (yes this is a thing), or 50,000 words.
According to Wikipedia the average children’s chapter book is 16,000 words while the average mystery novel is about 60-80,000 words. Meanwhile the average thriller can often be over 100,000 words. If you estimate 250 words per page that would mean the average mystery novel is 240-320 pages, a thriller being 400+. Now I’ve never read a Brandon Sanderson novel but my understanding is that all of his books are long being at least 500 pages. That said all three of the All Souls trilogy books were nearly 600 pages. Let’s just say that big books are common to the fantasy genre, if you ask me.
While 50,000 words might not be a whole novel that is the general idea behind the competition. Mostly you’re competing with yourself although you are able to see other people’s stats. If you reach 50k by the end of November then you won! In that event you have the chance to receive some NaNoWriMo paraphernalia. I did not win last year but I did in 2017 when I first took my WIP (work in progress) on as a novel. In 2017 I got a sticker, a cool t-shirt, a little rubber bracelet and a few other little things. Best of all I got the bragging rights, yeah I wrote 50k words in a month (or 63k+ in my case).
Was that a novel? No, not even close. In fact I said I’d finish the first draft before the start of 2018. My goal for July camp is to finish the first draft.
In an older episode (maybe last November) of Death of A Thousand Cuts podcast, Tim Clare argued against participation in NaNoWriMo. Among other things he stated that you should be doing this regardless. You shouldn’t just write every day for 30 days because of some competition; if you’re a writer you will write every day because that’s what you do.
On the one hand I do agree with him. Absolutely you should be writing as much as you can because you’re a writer. Every time you write you’re practicing, exercising, putting your craft to work. You might not be a real writer if you only do it for NaNo, I’m sorry but I do believe that. However, I think NaNoWriMo is an excellent opportunity to catapult yourself and your project into a new stage of development. For myself NaNoWriMo was the kick off of my novel. My failure to focus and discipline myself to write no matter what is why it’s taken so long but NaNo gets credit for forcing me to take it to a new level.
The recommended daily word count for November was 1,667 words. This is so doable, at least for me, if it’s not for you don’t feel bad, do your thing. But seeing those numbers and that graph does something for me. On a good day I can easily write 3k in an hour. So why not? Having to write every day, or make up for a day missed, meant that I had to tell my inner editor to shush and let the words come out. Follow leads I doubt, listen to my creative brain as it tosses ideas at me, follow the rabbit into the hole of my imagination. Accept, and understand, that the first draft will likely not be excellent and that’s okay. But get those bones together. Get that foundation built. Then revise, revise, revise. Think about it, how often were you expected to only write one draft in school? Yup…
NaNoWriMo feeds the competitive me and it provides me with a tangible goal that I feel I must accomplish. I have to enter those darn numbers. I have to watch the graph rise!!!! Writing a novel, unless you’ve already been commissioned, is a self-propelled project, task, job, opportunity, experiment, you name it. It’s up to you. And that isn’t always an easy thing. That means you make your writing schedule. You have to find that time and take it seriously. Discipline is key. Commitment and focus are required. You are your boss. And NaNoWriMo is this sweet nugget of a month in which I kind of have a different boss when it comes to my writing. That helps me.
Thus it is nice to have the camps as well. I joined June 30th for July camp and on the 1st I wrote about 1,146 words. Not the daily target, but I’ll make up for it. My goal for July camp is to complete my first draft. Then in November I will work on revisions. Is this intimidating? Yes. Is it doable? Hell yes! I hope to publish my novel in 2020 so I have got to step up my game and kick ass!
Are you or have you done NaNoWriMo? Will you be joining this year? If you have any questions about my experience please ask. Let me know if you’re going to join camp or the official event in November. Another thing that’s great about this is the community. There’s a lot of dedicated writers out there who join NaNoWriMo every year. You can join a group in your area, physically or virtually. You can look for writing buddies to help hold you accountable. There are discussion forums and weekly e-mails of encouragement. There’s really A LOT going on with this organization. If you need a boost for a writing project I strongly recommend you at least look into NaNoWriMo and see if it works for you. Click the link in the last sentence or at the top of the post (there are links to NaNoWriMo & Camp). But do remember, it doesn’t stop there.
Stay tuned for this week’s response to a writing prompt and last week’s since I missed it. I’ll find and pick one at random. As well as a post about my latest TBR additions, what I’m currently reading and read, and maybe more. 😉
This Wednesday bookish meme is hosted by BookShelf Fantasies. Thank you for letting us join in this fun!
And I am eeking this Shelf Control post in at the end of Wednesday so it still counts (even if you might not read it till Thursday). 😉
Oh, AND, I’m sort of not following the rules (this time) in that I don’t own this book YET. The Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst came out today. This “standalone epic fantasy for adults published by Harper Voyager” is set in the same world as her Queens of Renthia series but a different part, a part of the world we did not get to explore in that series. We got a small taste, a teaser, but that’s it. Who can blame her because here we are, book-thirsty and ready to discover. I suggest you check out her blog post announcing its book birthday.
Here’s the Goodreads’ Synopsis, and a beautiful cover to boot!
The natural magic of the classic The Island of the Blue Dolphinsmeets the danger and courage of The Hunger Games in this dazzling, intricate stand-alone fantasy novel set in award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst’s beloved world of Renthia.
Life is precious and precarious on the islands of Belene. Besieged by a capricious ocean full of malicious spirits, the people of the islands seek joy where they can. Mayara, one of the island’s fearless oyster divers, has found happiness in love. But on the day of her wedding to the artist Kelo, a spirit-driven storm hits the island with deadly force.
To save her loved ones, Mayara reveals a dangerous secret: she has the power to control the spirits. When the storm ends, she is taken into custody by the queen’s soldiers and imprisoned with other women like her.
They vary in age and social status, but to many they are heroes who will aide the country or witches that will sacrifice themselves trying. No matter who they are, the women are sent to a terrifying place—an island filled with bloodthirsty nature spirits, and left without food, water, shelter, or any tools except their own instincts and magic. Whoever survives the Island of Testing will be declared heirs to the queen. But no matter if she wins or loses, Mayara knows that the life she dreamed of is gone.
How and When I got it:
Not yet but I’ve ordered my copy and I just might add it to the April TBR (which is yet to be finished).
Why I Want to Read It:
Because I thoroughly enjoyed The Queens of Renthia series by Sarah Beth Durst! Why did I like that series? It was a unique and creative world to me. Renthia is a world I’ve not yet seen, one full of beautiful, strange, and frightening creatures. Mrs. Durst is a talented writer whose imagination manifests on the page and begs you to want more. I really hope The Deepest Blue is just one more in a long line of books that explore Renthia. You don’t have to read The Queens of Renthia series to read this book I think you’ll want to. 😀
Do you have this on your TBR yet? Or maybe you’ve read Queens of Renthia or any other Sarah Beth Durst book? Are you interested? Let me know!
Got your own installment for Shelf Control? Do please share!
First week of March is over already? Oh dear, I guess my hopes that time would slow down now that we’re almost out of winter won’t be realized. Bummer. That said, March as we all know is home to the spring equinox, and spring is the kick off to lots of activities. Yard work, house work (remodels, repairs, flips, rentals), exercise (sure this is a year long thing but ya know, gotta get ready for summer), bonfires, BBQs, outdoor adventures, gardening perhaps. So so much to do with those long days.
All this activity means sitting around reading will be a bit more difficult. However, it’s not impossible especially when reading is kind of a priority, although writing is a greater priority. (Beware writers, reading is an excellent EXCUSE not to write. Lol.) This is one reason it’s a great idea to lay out some March plans. I’ll be creating a lot of plans for a lot of different things but not sharing them all here. What I will share here, right here right now, are my reading and writing plans for March.
While browsing the world of Book Bloggers I found an interesting post, well two, about book blog post ideas. It’s a collaboration between two book bloggers, one posts 10 ideas then links to the other who shares another 15. Interesting post and really cool idea and execution of a collaboration. You can find these lists at Elated Books by El and 10 more from Maggie at Dreaming of Guatemala. I’m mentioning this now because as you might know I already have a 2019 TBR page. However, what I’ve not done is told you guys what I’m about to read and why. I just listed all the books I’m so far planning (read: hoping) to read in 2019.
Their list inspired me be more interactive with my TBR. This means my March plans will include specific books, the order I will read them, why I have them in the first place, why I’m reading them now, and if applicable how I heard of the book. This way you know in advance what I’ll be talking about and maybe you can read along with me. It might be difficult for me to make these March plans, as I like to choose the books I read spontaneously. But I’ve been planning my reads in advance more often. With so many books to read it helps to have some kind of method for choosing.
What am I talking about? Well for example, I finished Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker earlier this year. Last year I started the series with Borderline. Having finished Phantom Pains rather quickly (for me) I thought it best to start Impostor Syndrome sooner than later so my connection to the story would be current. It was nice to have read #2 & 3 closer together than #1 & 2.
Also, I read Marie Brennan’s A Natural History of Dragons quite a while ago. I shelved it on Goodreads back in 2015 and apparently never wrote a review. Eh… of course I enjoyed it, I’m going to read book 3 this month! I read The Tropic of Serpents (Lady Trent #2) last month. Just like with The Arcadia Project, I want to read #3 closer to having read the last one. This is a great segue into my March plans for reading!
I have been reading Everfair for quite some time now. To be honest I’ve come really close to DNFing it. Nisi Shawl is clearly a talented writer however I’m not a fan of her style of writing and I’m leaning towards the idea that I’m also not a fan of this genre. I’m more than 3/4 of the way through this book and I still can’t get into it, it’s like there’s no solid story to grab hold of even though this is an alternate telling of history, so there’s a real life story under there!
Gutshot is my first collection of short stories in a long time. While I would like to read more collections than I do now this one isn’t turning out to be my cup of tea or coffee. In my most humble opinion, there’s not a lot of meat on the bones of these stories. I’m sure they’re the type to read in between the lines with deeper meanings and all but that’s not the type of story I want to read. I’ll go to poetry for that. It’s a short book so DNFing isn’t necessary, I’ll see it all the way through.
No need to go into my feelings about My Age of Anxiety now, it’s a non-fiction so it’s going to take me a little longer and I’m not even halfway through. Instead let’s go back to March plans for reading!
The Honours is written by the podcaster Tim Clare. I’ve been listening to him using the app Podcast Addict for a little under a year now. I do enjoy his eccentric nature though some of his rants get a little long. That said he has a new book coming out in May, The Ice House, a sort of sequel to The Honours. He’s hoping to get enough pre-orders to make it on a best seller list. I haven’t read The Honours already because I’m not entirely sure it’s my kind of story but it’s good to support fellow writers you enjoy if you can. So I’m going to give his book a shot and now so if I do enjoy his writing I can pre-order The Ice House.
The Voyage of the Basilisk (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #3) by Marie Brennan
The Voyage of the Basilisk is the third book in this series and seeing as I liked the first two naturally I’m going to go ahead and continue reading this series. I don’t recall how I found this series and this author in the first place. It was probably a random find for me, meaning no one suggested it to me, just sounded interesting. I also plan to read more books by Marie Brennan.
If I finish these two fiction books before the end of March then I will start on The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor. Here’s some fun irony… I can’t remember exactly how I found this book, either from an Amazon recommendation or just a random. But I have had it for some time. Fast forward to the present. Browsing Book Outlet for something interesting I found Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. Ordered it. Got it. Read it (click the link above to read my review) and loved it. That led me to look for more work by the author. Naturally I added the Binti sequels to my TBR (probably will make my April plans for reading) but I also saw other books that looked interesting. This book stood out, I knew I’d seen it before but where? I then looked around for how best to get the book.
Don’t you know I forgot I already had it? Yup. Yup. Guilty. But it kept nagging at me that I was aware of the book prior to reading Binti. So here I’ve read Binti, became a fan of Nnedi, while sitting in a stack of books in my dining room was The Book of Phoenix waiting for me. My dining room table is tall, think bar stool tall with storage underneath, part of the reason I chose it. Naturally books dominate this storage. So a couple weeks ago I was sweeping and bent down to fill the dust pan. This particular sweeping event had me facing some of the books under the table and BAM! Hey I know that book! The Book of the Phoenix is now out and visible and stands out even more due to this series of events. Strange right?
Okay this post is super long, they won’t all be but since March plans are my first in this “series” it’s naturally a little longer. But there you have it, hit me up if you plan to read any of these or if you have (do not leave me spoilers!). Stay posted for reviews and thoughts on the books I finish and updates for when I start the new ones.
Check out my 2019 TBR to see what else I want to read this year. If there’s something you’re dying to read or hear about let me know because you never know, I might push it up my list just for you. 😉
Here we are, again. Me and you, whoever you are on the other side of the screen; in this specific case it’s me slightly embarrassed to be proposing a new start, another new version of my site, my blog, my life. How many times we’ve been here. How many times? Enough for it to have lost the flare of newness. How many times can a person marry before the honeymoon is just a fun idea? I don’t know, I’m still up for the first time but I know when it comes to restarting a blog I’m almost worn out.
But can you ever really be worn out of love? Can a writer ever really be worn out from writing, permanently, never to pick up the pen and free the birds? I don’t believe it. If your love is real, I believe that says enough. If you listen to their whistles, you’ll hear a song of words. So I beat myself up a bit for running the blog thing ragged. But we’ve healed some now, rebuilt and are stretching ready to run again (literally and figuratively).
Where are we now
then? Well still working on that novel, a bit of a slog sure but I will never
turn my back on the growth that sprung after I opened the floodgates during
NaNoWriMo 2017. You might remember, or not, that I won in 2017, having written
about 63k words or so in November. I signed up in 2018 as well although I
didn’t get started until the second week. I made a grand push in the last 10
days and got about 20k words from the finish line when the whistle blew. Oh I
was confident I would win and I could have but I didn’t manage my time and my
focus was blurry, otherwise you bet your ass I could have written 20k in a
couple of days. But I didn’t. That said while the competitive me was frustrated
I didn’t win, the sunny side up part of me said well we’ll learn from this. If
you can write like that then why not do it all the time? Tim Clare from the
podcast Death of a Thousand Cuts talked mad crap about NaNoWriMo, saying he
doesn’t think people should do it. And while I listened to that episode shaking
my head, thinking my gosh Tim if only I could tell you (of course I could) that
NaNoWriMo was what helped my novel take off. But he’s right when he asked why
we need this thing for 30 days to write our novel? If you can write like that,
then why only for 30 days? So I agreed with him in that regard and it’s
something I reminding myself.
I’ve made a lot of headway. Had loads of “breakthroughs” although I’m still working on the first draft. Ugh. But I’ve learned to let my story lead me. Let my characters tell me their story. Let the wind blow and snag a strand of hair loose. Twist it around my finger, let it unravel as it may. Let’s say tentatively to expect this work in 2020. And in the meantime I’ll introduce you to some other characters I’ve found along the way of my writing journey. What exactly 2019 will hold for this blog I’m not going to say this time, I’ll just let it happen. Okay maybe I’ll at least assure you I will introduce you to some new authors (by this I mean their books, but maybe through other means) and loads of new books. Promise. If you need some new reading material, mostly fiction but this year I’m reading a lot of different material, I will be sharing plenty here. In fact, expect to hear a lot about books, not just because I’m writing one, but also because reading is very important to writing. You probably already know that, or maybe you don’t, I didn’t always. I have talked about this before yes, so we’ll expand on it, no problem if you’re new here. I’ll post some of my old reviews; they’re not formal by any means, and sometimes you might think I’m mean when really I’m just honest and passionate about what I read sometimes. Regardless, I hope you’ll converse with me, I welcome comments. Read some of my recommendations, let me know what you think. Let that author know what you think. Let everyone know what you think. I’ll tell you now you can give me book recommendations, I’ll look into them, but my list is packed! Who knows, maybe I’ll improve my reading speed and hit my TBR list (to-be-read) out of the park! Heck yeah!
Hey everybody! This is the new Little Face Publications! We’re starting over so a lot will be different, just know this is me! WELCOME!
I have big things planned for 2019. For now, please save my site as I’m still putting this together. Reach out to me, say hi, leave your e-mail, what have you. If you can’t allow follow me I’ll be sure to get that option up soon. But check back often for new content because it’s coming. 😀 Cheers!