Sunday, October 30, 2011

NANOWRIMO 2011

Well, I'm going to try it again. Just like last year though, my busiest month at work is November, so I'm not expecting to finish, but it's still fun to give it a try!

For anyone who doesn't know what in the world I'm referring to, November is National Novel Writing Month, or NANOWRIMO. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. This seems to send would be novelists into a frenzy, and makes professionals in the industry cringe at the flood of unpolished works they may be subjected to.

For me, I'd just like to get back in touch with my ability to write, as I feel like I've lost that as I've moved to adulthood and have been in the working world with most of my concentration going to my job. Being an accountant/analyst really doesn't channel my imagination a lot, though it does sap my energy for sure!

If this sounds at all interesting to you, check out the NANWRIMO website where you can sign up, choose a region, and join the fun!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-thon - Daily Updates


I will do all of my updates here in this post, newest will be at the top. Thank you for visiting!

Nothing new started today
Day 7 - 10/30/11 - The End!

Pages read: 74 (Miss Zukas)
Time listened: 4 h 28 m (Catching Fire)
Visited: no visits today :(
Books finished: 1 book, 2/3 audiobook, 2 short stories
A Tail of Two Skittys
My Soul to Steal
Vampire Crush
Old Habits
Total Page Count: 649 (401 behind total goal)
Total Time Listened: 15 h 32 m
Comments: I really thought I would get more pages this week, but I am surprised at how much I got listened to! Luckily some of the work I had to do this week was something I could do while listening to an audiobook. Thanks again to all the organizers, you are great!

Nothing new started today
Day 6 - 10/29/11

Pages read: 60, 81(Miss Zukas, Old Habits)
Time listened: 2 h 3 m (Catching Fire)
Visited: no visits today :(
Books finished: 1 book, 2/3 audiobook, 2 short stories
A Tail of Two Skittys
My Soul to Steal
Vampire Crush
Old Habits
Total Page Count: 575 (325 behind total goal)
Total Time Listened: 11 h 4 m
Comments: 1 more day to go! Still have a lot of work for the last day, so I doubt I will make my page goal, but I'm still really glad to have been a part of Bout of Books and will definitely be in for another one!

Day 5 - 10/28/11

Pages read: 10, ?? (Miss Zukas, Old Habits)
Time listened: 2 h 50 m (Catching Fire)
Visited: no visits today :(
Books finished: 1 book, 2/3 audiobook, 1 short story
A Tail of Two Skittys
My Soul to Steal
Vampire Crush
Total Page Count: 434 (316 behind total goal)
Total Time Listened: 9 h 1 m
Comments: Still have work to do this weekend, but hopefully I can catch up a little bit!

Day 4 - 10/27/11

Pages read: 82, ?? (Vampire Crush, Old Habits)
Time listened: 2 h 3 m (My Soul to Steal)
Visited: Smitten with Reading, Kelsinator's Blog, For Love and books
Books finished: 1 book, 2/3 audiobook, 1 short story
A Tail of Two Skittys
My Soul to Steal
Vampire Crush
Total Page Count: 424 (176 behind total goal)
Total Time Listened: 6 h 11 m
Comments: It's time to leave the Teen Paranormal scene for awhile, I'm going to go visit with Miss Zukas the Sleuthing Librarian now. We're on the downhill slide, and I'm way behind, but I knew it would be a busy week, so it's alright!

Day 3 - 10/26/11

Pages read: 78, ?? (Vampire Crush, Old Habits)
Time listened: 55 m (My Soul to Steal)
Visited: Colleen's Reads, Creative Deeds Reads, Gone With the Words
Books finished: 1 short story A Tail of Two Skittys
Total Page Count: 342 (108 behind total goal)
Total Time Listened: 4 h 8 m
Comments: My work is not conducive to read-a-thon's. Grrr...

Day 2 - 10/25/11

Pages read: 134, 20 (Vampire Crush, A Tail of Two Skittys)
Time listened: 1 h 57 m (My Soul to Steal)
Visited: Celine @ Nyx Book Reviews, Mazz @ Words on the Shelf, Vasilly
Books finished: 1 short story A Tail of Two Skittys
Total Page Count: 264 (36 behind total goal)
Total Time Listened: 3 h 13 m
Comments: The Shipscat series by Mercedes Lackey is a series of short stories centered around a specially bred for space breed of cats, very quick, fun reads. Good if you like cats, Sci-Fi and/or Mercedes Lackey. Their reviews on Goodreads are quite high. I believe they may all be gathered in the book Werehunter, but are also available individually in other anthologies, as well as for Kindle, which is where I'm reading them. :)
Day 1 - 10/24/11

Pages read: 110 (Vampire Crush)
Time listened: 1 h 16 m (My Soul to Steal)
Visited: Smittenskitten, JJ ireads, Michelle@True Book Addict, Elsi@Reading in Texas
Books finished: 0
Total Page Count: 110
Total Time Listened: 1 h 16 m
Comments: Note to self figure out how to get paid for doing read-a-thon's

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-thon

Yay! Another read-a-thon to do, and it starts tomorrow! I'm so happy, I'm totally addicted to read-a-thon's now! It just makes reading so much more fun when you have a group of people being excited about it with you! It's called the Bout of Books Read-a-thon hosted by On a Book Bender, and it runs from 12:01am 10/24 through 11:59 pm 10/30 (your time zone). While the excitement of a 24 hour read-a-thon is unparalleled, I am really liking the multiple day read-a-thon's as well. This is a super busy time at work for me, but having this to look forward to when I get home will be great! It will also ease the let down I normally feel after Dewey's at having to wait until April to do another one! So glad to be finding all of these additional read-a-thon's! I'm probably crazy, but I'd be reading anyhow, and this just helps me keep up my resolve to do so, and let's me share it with a bunch of like minded people! Come on and join us!

Starting Line

This will be a very busy work week for me, so I'm not going to try and push myself too hard, that will only frustrate me, I'll just be glad to have a read-a-thon vibe to enjoy through the week! I still have my book pool from Dewey's to use, but also have some owed books I need to work on.

Goals

I will give myself a goal of 150 pages a day, which is 1050 pages over 7 days. It's ambitious for my work load but I think I can do it! No regrets if I don't make it though. Whatever I finish will also be included in my Read-in-October donation to Literacy Kansas City. Another goal will be to visit at least 3 other participants a day. I will probably just update once a day in the evening on separate posts, but plan to look in the twitter channel #boutofbooks throughout to see what's going on!

Here are some of the books I'm considering:



I'll just have to wait and see what else I'm in the mood for if I get that far!

Good luck everyone! Hope you all get off to a great start tomorrow! Monday's don't seem so bad when you have a read-a-thon to look forward to!

Wrap up - End of Event Meme - Final Update

The sun is just starting to come up and I can't believe it's over! April seems so far away, but then again it'll be here before we know it and we can do this again! I'm jazzed to have been awake at the end this year, this is the first time I've done that. The nap helped, and while I didn't quite make it to the end of the story I was reading, I did get another 55 pages in the last couple hours, along with a smidge more cheering. Thank you to everyone involved, the organizers, the cheerleaders, the readers, this is such a special thing, and I'm happy to be a part of it!

End of Event Meme

Which hour was most daunting for you?

This year it was hour 19, as I was trying to finish up the book I was on before getting a few hours sleep so I could get back up for the end.

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

I'd like to give a huge recommendation to the Dream Catcher Trilogy by Lisa McMann, Wake, Fade and Gone, they are enthralling, yet quick reads, really kept me interested. I read the first one last read-a-thon, and the 3rd one this time. Also Stephanie Plum between the numbers novels (usually the holiday ones) by Janet Evanovich or also some of her older romances that have been reprinted as they are quick and fun!

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Not really, I think it goes beautifully!

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

I really like have the twitter hashtag #readathon, it's a real time conversation and really brings home the fact that we're doing this together. Those late night hours can feel really isolated sometimes, and I think the twitter feed really keeps us in touch and energized!

How many books did you read?

I got through 2 full books, finished off 1 that I had already started before the read-a-thon, and then got through 3 short stories and about 2/3 of another one.

What were the names of the books you read?

See below, they'll be in my last update!

Which book did you enjoy most?

Gone by Lisa McMann

Which did you enjoy least?

I think finishing up Metal Angel by Nancy Springer, it was just a struggle! It was good, but just not as engaging as I had hoped for.

If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

Yes, and it's something that our Cheerleader organizers told us, which is to try and make each comment personal, even if we're posting the same "cheer" for a lot of people, it is important to read through quickly what they have posted and try to make a tailor made comment just for them. As a reader, it really gives you a warm fuzzy and some energy when you realize someone's taken the time to pay attention to what you've posted, and that really helps keep you enthused!

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I'm absolutely in! I wish we could do it more often! I think right now I'm pretty comfortable in the mainly reader, moderate cheerleader role. I have a lot of respect for the organizers of the different areas, I imagine it's a lot more work than you might realize, and I want to thank them all for keeping this going and allowing so many of us around the world to share in this fantastic event! I'm a read-a-thon addict now! Heehee, I know I'm tired because I'm getting all emotional and teary now that we're done! *sniffle* *group hug*

Final Update

My final page count was 601, plus I listened to about 2 1/2 hours of My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent, but I'm way too tired to try and figure out how many pages that would be right now!

Finished:

Metal Angel
by Nancy Springer
Stopping Time
by Melissa Marr
Gone (Dream
Catcher #3)

by Lisa McMann
Plum Lucky
by Janet Evanovich
pages: 92pages: 36pages: 214pages: 166

No Cover Available
Skitty
by Mercedes Lackey
Venture in Vain
by Katherine Kurtz
My Soul to Steal
by Rachel Vincent
Father Mine
by J. R. Ward
pages: 24pages: 14listened:
2 1/2 hours
pages: 55


Great Job everyone! And now to get some sleep! See you all in April!

I'm back!

I'm back after a nap, and I think it's time for that huge cupcake and a soda! I'm pretty proud of myself for getting back up, because wow was that bed comfortable! Not sure what I'm going to do with myself in the final two hours here, but I think it will be a combo of reading and cheering, and eating, yeah, definitely eating...

Update hours 12-19

It's just after 1 am for me in hour 19, and I've just finished Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich. I've done some cheering, and also read two short stories, Venture in Vain by Katherine Kurtz (a special limited edition short story), and Skitty by Mercedes Lackey. My page count is now at 546. Seems like every read-a-thon my number of pages is going down, but that's okay, I'm enjoying myself, and I still feel accomplished!

The plan now is to catch a few hours of sleep, and then get back up for the end of the read-a-thon, we'll see if I make it!

Currently Reading and Next Up:



Finished:

Metal Angel
by Nancy Springer
Stopping Time
by Melissa Marr
Gone (Dream
Catcher #3)

by Lisa McMann
Plum Lucky
by Janet Evanovich
pages: 92pages: 36pages: 214pages: 166

No Cover Available
Skitty
by Mercedes Lackey
Venture in Vain
by Katherine Kurtz
pages: 24pages: 14

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?

I'll be starting Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich once I've cheered a bit more.

2. How many books have you read so far?

1 full book, 1 partial book, 3 short stories.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Father Mine by J. R. Ward, it's a short story, but I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood!

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

Not really, luckily Saturday is usually pretty clear for me.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

self-inflicted ones, like going out to lunch and running errands, so I brought along my ipod to listen to an audiobook, or read on the kindle app on my phone.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

The time just flies by!

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Nope, it's awesome just the way it is!

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

Well, honestly I think I may have gotten it just right for myself this year. I'm going to try getting some sleep before too long and then getting up for the end few hours rather than staying up as late as possible, so we'll see how that works!

9. Are you getting tired yet?

Kind of, but still jazzed to get more reading done. Once I hit that wall though, I go down fast! That's why I'm going to try the nap thing!

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?

I'm including some short stories this time, something I've not done before, while they don't get you a big page count, they do let you feel like you've finished some "units" and I think that's important if you're feeling bogged down with a longer book. Also, just have fun, set attainable goals if you set them at all, and don't be hard on yourself if things don't go exactly as you planned, be flexible, and you'll be a lot more relaxed!

Update hours 6-11

We've just completed hour 11, and are at the halfway hour 12! How's everyone feeling? Sleepy? Energized? I made it through my tough afternoon prime nap hours between 3-5 pm and am feeling pretty good right now, having just finished a book! It's time for some cheering!

I'm at 342 pages now, which was reading Gone (Dream Catcher #3) by Lisa McMann. I also started listening to My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent while we were out and about at lunch, doing some errands, and securing some evil cupcakes for later on, and some coffee! Mr. Shaunie has joined me in reading, and he's logged almost 100 pages in Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch, which looks to be a fun Sci-Fi.

I love book related t-shirts, and was so excited to get this one recently from Shirt.Woot, which is my special attire for today. I wish it hadn't gotten reckoned so quickly, I probably should have gotten several of them!



Currently Reading and Next Up:



Finished:

Metal Angel
by Nancy Springer
Stopping Time
by Melissa Marr
Gone (Dream
Catcher #3)

by Lisa McMann
pages: 92pages: 36pages: 214

Update Hours 1-5

We're just finishing up hour 5, it's almost noon for me, so it's time for lunch! I'm not reading as fast as I might like, but I'm in a great mood, and have visited some friends that are also doing the read-a-thon:
Noumena12
Azuki
Dancing-Dog
Elsi

I've managed 128 pages so far, which was finishing up Metal Angel by Nancy Springer and also reading Stopping Time by Melissa Marr, a short story in the Wicked Lovely series. Now I'm listening to My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent while blogging and getting ready to go out for lunch. I'm thinking a soup and salad buffet, then some time at a local coffee shop for some more reading. What's everyone else doing for meals and snacks? Have a great day everyone, keep up the good reading, and have fun! I'll be cheering for people later on as part of Team Coco Puffs!



Currently Reading and Next Up:



Finished:

Metal Angel
by Nancy Springer
Stopping Time
by Melissa Marr
pages: 92pages: 36

Hour 1 - Intro Meme

1)Where are you reading from today?

Mostly my house, but we may go out to lunch and a local coffee shop to read for awhile.

2)Three random facts about me…

I've always loved Archaeology, enough that it inspired me to get an Anthropology degree, though I've not ended up in a career using it. I would love to visit Egypt or Mexico and see the wonderful ruins there!

I'm also a geocacher, though we don't do it a lot, it is a lot of fun. The most exciting one we've found so far was a cache on the edge of Royal Gorge in Colorado, beautiful scenery!

I worked in a bookstore during highschool and college, sometimes I miss it, though I think I have just as many books of my own now!


3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

About 30, but that's just to have something to choose from, there's no way I'll get through them all! But I sure wish I could read that fast!

4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?

No real goals, just to read as much as possible.

5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?

This is my 4th time I think, and my advice is to just relax and have fun, that's what it's all about! Even if you're not reading as quickly as you might like, you're still part of something wonderful, enjoy it!

Here We Go! It's Read-a-Thon time again!

It's time! It's time! It's time for Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-Thon! I've so been looking forward to this! My hubby is going to give the read-a-thon a try as well, this is the first time I've done this that he's NOT on call! Woot! I'll report on his progress here along with my own, he didn't really sign up, so I guess for this go around we're team Shaunesay!

This year I'm going to donate to Literacy Kansas City for the books that we get read. I'm actually going to do it for all of my October reads, not just today's.

I'm also a cheerleader again, so I may be visiting some of you later on to help keep you going!

I didn't quite get all the reading done that I wanted to before the start of the 'thon, so I might be finishing that last book up today. I've got books lined up in print, and on my Kindle app, and also an audio book picked out to give my eyes a rest, for exercising and while I'm visiting others and cheering.

Here's my starting lineup:



Good Luck and Good Reading everyone! Have a wonderful day!

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Fool and His Honey by Charlaine Harris

A Fool and His Honey is the 6th book of the Aurora Teagarden series.

Roe's life is going well, she's happily married to Martin, has started working at the library again part time because she likes it, not because she has to, and she has a house she loves. There are a few downsides, the company dinners and making nice with town politicians, and she's not so crazy about Martin's family, but overall things are going good, until the day that things just went from bad to worse, and didn't get better again. It started out with some erratic behavior by the man delivering some firewood to the house, and then with an unexpected visit by a relative of Martin's, and then, that's right, you guessed it, with a dead body. But not only a dead body, there's also a baby with a missing mother in the equation, and Roe has no choice but to care for the child until his mother, Martin's niece, is found. This awakens all sorts of feelings in Roe, none of them quite what she expected, considering her own fertility situation. To have the duty foisted on her the way it was, in addition to the stress of not knowing where the child's mother was or if she was okay, or even if the baby was truly hers, and Roe has a big batch of resentment brewing, which I can't blame her for one bit! She certainly took it a lot better than I would have.

I'll be honest, I've liked this one the least so far, because of the storyline. The convoluted "who's baby is Hayden" thread is fine, it was the ending I didn't like at all. It might just be because of the frame of mind in which I read it, I could really identify with Roe, and her feelings and resentments over circumstances and people, and then to have it turn out the way it did was just awful. I guess I'm just a sucker for happy endings, and this episode of the Aurora series didn't have one! Of course I'll read the rest, it wasn't a bad storyline, it just made me really unhappy for Roe!

Despite my unhappiness with this particular novel, I do highly recommend everything I've read by Charlaine Harris so far, which includes the Harper Connelly series, and the Sookie Stackhouse Series. Just be prepared, A Fool and His Honey won't give you the warm fuzzies! For more information on the author and her work, please see her website: www.charlaineharris.com.

This is my 10th read for the Mystery and Suspense Challenge hosted by Book Chick City.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Are you ready for Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon?

This time next week we'll be feverishly reading and cheering each other on during Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon! There's still plenty of time to sign up to be a reader, or join the cheerleading team! Yes, you can absolutely do both, I am! One of the most fun things about the read-a-thon is picking out what books to read. I always have a much bigger stack than I will ever get through, but you just never know what you'll be in the mood for! Here are some of the ones that are definites, plus the rest of my stack!





I have quite a few short stories and novellas on the Kindle and in print, (both Father Mine and Stopping Time above are short stories) so I will be working on those as well. I thought that might be a good break from a longer book if I'm feeling bogged down on it, or a quick in between books.

I'm also going to be donating to a reading themed charity this year. I've chosen Literacy Kansas City as my recipient, and while I'm actually going to donate for what I read in the whole month of October, I'll report in on what I did for the read-a-thon itself as I think they usually try to tally up what people have done if they're willing to volunteer the info.

I'm cheerleading again this time, so I need to get busy and try to think of something fun. I love getting comments from people during the read-a-thon, it gives it that group festive feeling, and really helps if you're feeling like things are going slow!

I can't believe it's so close and yet so far! Just another week to go! And yet, another WHOLE week of work before it's time! I hope to see you all there!
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