"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2015 What I'm Reading #4




Every Wednesday of ROW80 I will write an update of my reading goals and each Sunday will be an update of my writing goals.  I am also tweeting daily updates of my writing goals. 
2015 Reading Goal:  30 books                                  
Current Progress:  6 books

The list so far:

January
  1. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
  2. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
  3. The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz
  4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Schaffer
  5. Blue Bloods: The Keys to the Repository by Melissa de la Cruz
  6. A Million Little Things by James Frey
Well, I have not made any progress since last check-in.  I have checked out 3 books from my e-library and 1 book from my school library, and I have not read very much at all.  From the looks of it, I have about two weeks to finish these 3 e-books.  I better get to work :)
What are you reading this week?  Any recommendations?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Writing Update (2/9/15)

 
2015 Goal: 250 words per day/1750 words per week, both new handwritten and old typed
Weekly Progress: 454 words

Every Wednesday of ROW80 I will write an update of my reading goals and each Sunday will be an update of my writing goals.  I am also tweeting daily updates of my writing goals.   This post is one day late :(

Ok, so yesterday I read an article about fighting writer's block.  It seems like a reasonable strategy. . In fact I have tried similar strategies before, so I started with a prompt from the Writer's Digest.  It was going great.  Ideas were flowing.  Then it was gone.  After 454 words, I had nothing more to write, even though there was still a lot of story to tell.  I left my friend hiding in her closet from a home invader.  

So I did not meet my goal this week.  That makes three weeks in a row that I have not met my goal.  At least this week I wrote.  Next week will be better.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Writing Update 2/3/15

 
2015 Goal: 250 words per day/1750 words per week, both new handwritten and old typed
Weekly Progress:  0 words

Every Wednesday of ROW80 I will write an update of my reading goals and each Sunday will be an update of my writing goals.  I am also tweeting daily updates of my writing goals.   This post is late and I have not been tweeting anything :(

Ok, I have been slacking on avoiding my writing update posts.  Why?  Well, basically, there has been no writing going on.  None at all.  For this reason and others, I have decided to adjust my goal. 

When I write, I always write by hand first and type later, so I have decided to adjust my goal to include the handwritten words and the typing of those words.  That may seem like cheating, since I am technically writing the same words twice, but when I type, I also do a little editing.  It has taken me some time to accept this as part of my goal, but I think I am finally ready to cut myself some slack.

I also find that there are some days when I like to write and some when I don't want to write at all, so a daily goal does not make much sense for me.  On the days I want to write, I can easily write 1,000 words in one sitting.  If I don't want to write, I have a hard time even getting out a sentence.  This realization has me changing my goal from 250 words daily to 1750 words weekly.  Now I will no longer feel guilty if I am not in the mood to write.

I am going to try my hand at A Month of Letters again.  Maybe that will help me get started.  My first letter was a birthday letter to my hubby, number two is a birthday letter to my mom, and the third is a birthday card to my BIL.  Next I want to write a letter to my granddad and my godmother.  I hope I can follow through with the whole month this time around.

I think that this new goal is going to work so much better for me, and I am excited to get back to getting back to writing :)  Have you had to adjust your goals yet?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015 What I'm Reading #3



Every Wednesday of ROW80 I will write an update of my reading goals and each Sunday will be an update of my writing goals.  I am also tweeting daily updates of my writing goals. 
2015 Reading Goal:  30 books                                  
Current Progress:  6 books

The list so far:

January
  1. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
  2. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
  3. The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz
  4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Schaffer
  5. Blue Bloods: The Keys to the Repository by Melissa de la Cruz
  6. A Million Little Things by James Frey
I just finished reading A Million Little Things.  Wow!  I could not put it down.  

So far I feel like I am sticking to my goal!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows

image source:  Amazon.com

What it's about:
"“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever." - Amazon.com


My Thoughts:
Ummmm, I kinda want to start writing letters to everyone I know, maybe even people I don't know.  I really like books that are written in a series of letters*.  This one was no exception.  You get to know the characters in such a different way, little by little and through the eyes of someone else.  Also you only know as much as each individual letter-writer, so there is always a suspense, an incomplete picture of the story.

This book also makes me want to start a quirky book club.  I'm not sure that I have any idea how to go about doing that and I may already have too much going on this year but I loved reading about the meetings of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.  

Finally, this book has inspired me to finally read Wuthering Heights.  This will be the year that I finally read it.  I know I have a copy on my bookshelf upstairs, yet I have resisted reading it for years.  The time has finally come.

I love the story of how Annie Barrows helped Mary Ann Schaffer to complete the book when she could no longer write.  It somehow felt right that this book required a group effort.  

What an inspiring book.  I highly recommend it and am already planning to purchase a copy as a gift for a fellow lover of books and letters.


*I am pretty sure that the only other book I have read that was written in a series of letters was Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster.  I still stand by my former statement :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

What it's about:
"When the beautiful and precocious sisters Sally and Gillian Owens are orphaned at a young age, they are taken to a small Massachusetts town to be raised by their eccentric aunts, who happen to dwell in the darkest, eeriest house in town. As they become more aware of their aunts' mysterious and sometimes frightening powers -- and as their own powers begin to surface -- the sisters grow determined to escape their strange upbringing by blending into "normal" society.

But both find that they cannot elude their magic-filled past. And when trouble strikes -- in the form of a menacing backyard ghost -- the sisters must not only reunite three generations of Owens women but embrace their magic as a gift -- and their key to a future of love and passion. Funny, haunting, and shamelessly romantic, Practical Magic is bewitching entertainment -- Alice Hoffman at her spectacular best."  from GoodReads.com

My journal page

My Thoughts:

I have always loved the movie Practical Magic, and when I discovered that it was based on a book, I had to find it.  Luckily the book was available through my e-library, and I immediately put it on hold.

I really enjoyed the book even though it was very different from the movie.  I feel like the book emphasized the magical part less than the movie did.  I really liked Alice Hoffman's writing style, how she flowed from character to character, story to story.  It seemed so effortless.  I am excited to read more of her work.

I was disappointed that my favorite scene from the movie was not a part of the book.  I have always loved the scene at the end of the movie where a group of ordinary women come together to work magic and stop a possession.  As I was reading the book, I was waiting and waiting for Gillian to get possessed and for the women to come together and save her..... but it never happened.  I felt a little let down and I wish I had read the book before seeing the movie.

That being said, I would absolutely recommend this book.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 What I'm Reading #2


Every Wednesday of ROW80 I will write an update of my reading goals and each Sunday will be an update of my writing goals.  I am also tweeting daily updates of my writing goals. 
 
2015 Reading Goal:  30 books                                  
Current Progress:  3 books

The list so far:

January
  1. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
  2. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
  3. The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz
This morning I started reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I am very excited to see how it goes.  I have heard a lot of good things about the book and can't wait to find out if I agree :)

Here are the next two books on my list:
Have you read any of these books?  What did you think?
Are you reading anything interesting this week?