Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday Writing - Nano Update & Teaser

So Wednesday is my official writing update day. I have so many story projects going on and I need a push to get some done. So I will be trying to post each Wednesday about how my writing adventures are going (and I may need a swift kick in the pants by you guys sometimes).

Current Active Project:

The New Old Home - 17,193 words
Everyone dreams of winning the lottery, but what would you do with that money? That is the question presented to Natalie, when she is at the lowest point in her life, she is presented with an opportunity to make any normal person's dreams come true, but all those winnings can't give her what she wants most.

Other Works in Progress:

Princess Bs - 32,131 words
A story about a woman, recently divorced and returned to her home town to figure out what is next. She encounters an old friend and spends a weekend with him and his daughters. Feelings that are long since buried are rising up again, but are her recent loss and his current life going to stand in the way of their happily ever after?

Tamlyn Marie's Grace - 12,072 words
Think Cinderella only with a matchmaker ;)

The Last Mountains - 15,352
A equine shapeshifting family is being hunted to near extinction and the young new leader must go against all her lessons and approach the elite council for aide. Will they help her? How will she keep her family's traditions and values alive, let alone her herd?

Night Rider - 17,229
Alice is a recent high school graduate who is a very accomplished competitive rider in Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, and Western/Rodeo. Her parents had arranged for her to attend a private college on the east coast geared specifically to equine professions. However, Alice wants to focus on her studies in English Literature. When she arrives at the college she hides her riding abilities, but can she keep her talent and love of horses hidden?

Other Ideas Plotting:

Bloodsoar's Story
A pegasus struggles through life, ejected from the herd, near capture by humans.

The Assassin's Assassin
A student learns what the school is really teaching and sets out to destroy those who support the program.


Well I was doing super well and got 4 days ahead of schedule by the weekend, but then took Sunday off for football and monday was just insanely busy so now I am scrambling to get well ahead of the game again.  Thankfully Friday is a holiday so I can get some things done around the house and get a bunch of writing done as long as I manage to avoid the TV and the books!
So as promised, I am going to share a little teaser with you.  This is actually the very first paragraph of my story and prologue
 Natalie stood with her back to the sun, the light breeze pulling on the wisps of hair that had fallen from her tight bun.  It was a perfect summer day, not too hot, not too cold, only a few light clouds drifting through the sky.  It was not at all the kind of day you would imagine for a funeral, not that she had ever expected to be laying her husband to rest at only 30 years old.  Ironic how this, the day of his funeral, it was so like the day they had wed six years earlier, but instead of wearing white and smiling for the camera she now stood solemnly in a black dress looking down at her love’s gravestone. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

2012 Challenges?! Time to start Planning!

So it is that time of year when we start planning next year's reading challenges.  Unfortunately it doesn't seem like I will be able to finish my challenge for this year, there were too many new good books to distract me.  But I am determined to meet my goals of a few challenges next year. 

I have already come across two challenges that I will participate in and thought I would share them with you so that we can maybe support each other through them.

The first challenge is one I need horribly.  The Mount TBR Challenge where you try to conquer that mountain of TBR books! Mine is over 200 books, and I am determined to shrink that pile to a more manageable level (ie. below the light switch and not teetering dangerously over my head) before I add more books to that pile.  I am thinking somewhere between 50 and 75 books for this challenge.
Some of the books I plan to read for this challenge:
The Inheritance Books by Christopher Paolini
Soldier's Heart by Elizabeth Samet
All Fisherman are Liars by Linda Greenlaw
Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper
Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
Acorna Series by Anne McCafrey
Dakota Trilogy by Debbie Macomber
Daughters of the Glen by Melissa Mayhue
Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
Cleo by Helen Brown
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I will have a near full list after Christmas ;) leaving a few slots open for mood reading.

The second Challenge I have come across that I would like to participate in is the Classics Challenge hosted by Jessica at Thoughts at One in the Morning.  I think this will be a perfect follow up challenge for me next year since I am not going to get to the classics portion of my own challenge this year. I also have several classics that I would love to re-read but am having a hard time getting to with all the new books coming at me.  I am thinking between 5 and 10 would be a good number since they do take a little longer to get through than current books.

Here is a list of the books I am thinking I should read for this challenge
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Divine Comedy by Dante
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
The Iliad by Homer
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (need to check date)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Animal Farm by George Orwell (need to check date)
Gulliver's Travels by Johnathan Swift
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Taming the Shrew by Shakespeare
I will probably have to narrow that list but those are all ones I would love to read next year!

Now I know that's already a couple of huge challenges but I have another that I want to plan for myself. I am thinking an Arthurian Legend Challenge would be fantastic. Some of my favorite books branch off from the legends of king Arthur and I want to re-read some of those as well as a few I have had waiting in my TBR pile. I will probably make a post some time in the next month or so outlining it a little more clearly, as the idea is still forming in my mind.  I am thinking for myself a challenge of 10 to 15 books that deal with legends of King Arthur (or knights of the round table). 

Some of the books I want to include in my own challenge:
Paths to Camelot series by Sarah Zettel (4 books)(re-reads)
Queen of Camelot by Nancy McKenzi (TBR Pile)
Pendragon's Banner Trilogy by Helen Hollick (TBR Pile)
Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory (Audio TBR Pile)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (re-read)
Avalon Series by Marion Zimmer Bradley (wishlist)
Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell (TBR Pile)
Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey (re-read)
The Book of Mordred by Vivian Vande Velde (TBR Pile)
Knights of the Round Table trilogy by Gwen Rowley (re-read)
I know there are a ton more out there but these are the ones I have or really really want. The fun think about Arthurian Legends is that there are so many different versions, and they are in every genre so there is something for everyone.

So what do you think? Are any of you going to participate in these challenges? What challenges are you thinking about participating in next year?

Monday, November 7, 2011

It's Monday What are you Reading?!

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

What I Read Last Week:
Links will take you to my review
A Dream within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Currently Reading:
Sabriel by Garth Nix - PB - on page 231 of 496
Torment by Lauren Kate - PB - on page 132 of 452
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke - PB - on page 18 of 348
A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin - on my Nook, page 20 of 1439
Next Books to be Read:
Catundra by Stephen Cosgrove - Childrens/Bedtime stories
Holes by Lewis Sachar - Middle Reader/ 2011 Challenge
See I told you that my reading would slow down during Nanowrimo :( Its kind of sad seeing only two things listed when normally I have 5 plus.  Oh well, I am still ahead in my word count and if I can reach the halfway point by this weekend I am going to take an entire day off to read and refresh.

Review of Fallen by Lauren Kate

Isn't that cover stunning?!

Synopsis: "There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her."

My Review: Wow, this was an interesting book! I really couldn't put it down (even sneaking it to work and reading it under my desk). I really enjoyed the concept of the book and the little signs of good and evil throughout the book. I was really confused through most of the book but the good kind of confused that drives you to keep reading so you can get the answers to the questions. I don't know if I really connected with the characters or not but they all really fit.  I felt like the emotions, decisions and relationships were pretty accurate as to how a normal teenager would react. The ending really makes you want to read the next book, which is exactly what I did!

My Rating: I definitely enjoyed this one so can't help but give it a Four Paw rating!