"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, April 26, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday #9 (April 25, 2017)

I am currently reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King.  Huge book... huge.
Anyway, here is my progress so far... 
2017 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 11/32
Books from TBR list: 3
Series completed: 0
*Erin's Book Challenge:  8/10  0/Bonus Round

January
1.  Midair by Kodi Scheer
*2.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (TBR)

February
*1.  Christine by Stephen King
2.  The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (yup, I started a new series)

March
1.  The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens (second book in the series)
*2.  Wonder by RJ Palacio (TBR)
*3.  Matched  by Ally Condie
*4.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (TBR)

April
*1.  The Ancient Ones by Kirk Mitchell
*2.  The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
*3. The Breaking Light by Heather Hansen


Currently Reading:
11/22/63 by Stephen King



What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Revising My Novel: The Editorial Map

I have been revising my novel using  Janice Hardy's At-Home Workshop to Revise Your Novel in 31 Days.



The first step is the editorial map and I recently completed mine.  I'm not sure why it took me so long to finish... probably because I was scared, and... well... I should have been.  So, what did I learn from the experience?  Good question.

1.  I think I have a good basic story structure.  After reviewing the 3-act structure and comparing it to my editorial map, I think my story fits well in the structure(I am never sure when it comes to writing).

2.  My story has a lot of problems.  My characters keep doing things they would (should) never do.  For example, why would a paranoid conspiracy theorist broadcast a cold call about a top secret mission to his whole radio audience?  The answer: he wouldn't.  Unless it was accidental, like if someone was bugging him.... hmmm.

3.  I need more conflict.  A lot of events happen too easily.  I once read that you should do the worst to your characters.  I think I need to go through each scene and add more problems, more hoorible things.  My characters need to suffer more(that sounds bad, huh?).

4.  I do really like to handwrite.  I always start my projects by handwriting and I type everything later, even when I'm editing.


5.  I have some research to do: pirate radio, military stuff, sound vibrations, and a ton of other topics.

6.  I figured out the daughter's name!  Somewhere in my writing I forgot her name and started calling her "the daughter." Now I know her name is Susie and I am not sure that I like it.


Now to begin the next step.  Wish me luck!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2017 What I'm Reading Wednesday #8 (April 12, 2017)

I just started reading The Breaking Light by Heather Hansen, and then my Kindle died.  Oh well, I will really get started tomorrow.
A post shared by Lisa (@lalocadesigns) on

Anyway, here is my progress so far... 
2017 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 10/32
Books from TBR list: 3
Series completed: 0
*Erin's Book Challenge:  7/10  0/Bonus Round


January
1.  Midair by Kodi Scheer
*2.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (TBR)

February
*1.  Christine by Stephen King
2.  The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (yup, I started a new series)

March
1.  The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens (second book in the series)
*2.  Wonder by RJ Palacio (TBR)
*3.  Matched  by Ally Condie
*4.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (TBR)

April
*1.  The Ancient Ones by Kirk Mitchell
*2.  The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver



Currently Reading:
The Breaking Light by Heather Hansen


What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Goals

Monthly Goals - April

1.  Read 3 books
In order to meet my annual goal of 32 books, I want to try reading at least 3 books a month.  This month I am also trying to finish Erin's book challenge (I think I have 5 more books to read).  I will be starting with The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, one of my favorite authors, and then I will move onto The Ancient Ones by Kirk Mitchell.

2.  Write 1 letter
I have been slacking on my penpal letter writing stuff, so I am starting a monthly goal of one letter.  It's a start.

3.  Work on my blogs
I have some specific goals that I am working towards with my blogs this month.  I want to write up a blog business plan, especially for my craft blog.  I want to change my blog schedule a little.  I am still trying to find the perfect posting schedule.  And I want to research how to make money from this blogging enterprise I have begun.

4.  Journal daily
I want to write daily but I don't necessarily want to write fiction daily, so I will be attempting to journal daily.  I may look for some daily prompts, in case I lack motivation, not sure yet.

5.  New-ish Revision Plan
The New-ish Revision Plan (NRP) that I blogged about in my last post is beginning this month.  First I will complete my editorial map, then I will complete days 1-3 of the 31 day revision plan, one day per week.  I will post weekly updates of my progress and learning.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Revising My Novel (in 31 Days?)

During March of this year, I decided to try Janice Hardy's At-Home Workshop to Revise Your Novel in 31 Days.
It was a well-intentioned plan.  I had have a manuscript that needs to be edited, I had a month, and now I had a plan.  I immediately started the prep work of making an editorial map.  It was exciting, and illuminating, work.

I started by printing my manuscript.  This was when I realized that even though I have written the end of the story, I have not yet typed it up (that's right, even now at the end of the month, I still have not typed the ending).  I like to write by hand and later type my words.  I've always liked filling journals and notebooks with handwritten words; I don't think I will ever stop liking it.  The ending to my story is still waiting in one of those notebooks.  Luckily I know which one.

I was not going to let that one tiny missing part of the story hold me back.  I trudged forward and started reading and creating my editorial map.... and immediately realized that this manuscript needs a lot of work, and I mean a lot.  I read through the prologue and ten chapters, answering the questions that Janice suggests:

  • What is the POV character trying to do in this scene? (the goal)
  • Why is she trying to do it? (the motivation for that goal)
  • What’s in the way of her doing it? (the conflict)
  • What happens if she doesn’t do it? (the stakes)
  • What goes wrong (or right)? (how the story moves forward)
  • What important plot or story elements are in the scene? (what you need to remember or what affects future scenes)
  • from Janice Hardy's How to Create an Editorial Map

and also adding notes about revisions that needed to occur.  I quickly realized that the prologue and the first chapter needed to be cut.  The book will begin with chapter 2, which needs a lot of work.

And then I stopped.

Not many people knew that I was trying to revise my novel.  I had mentioned it on a writing forum; no one else knew.  A few weeks into March, someone on the writing forum asked how my editorial map was going.  Ummmm.... great, I'll get right back to it.  Soon.

I really should get back to revising.  What is stopping me?  I am sitting here on the last day of my spring break.  Spring break.  A whole week with nothing to do.  And still I did not revise.  The plan failed, and I think I know why.  There was no accountability.  I have a tendency to procrastinate, especially if no one is holding me to a deadline.  

So I am making a new-ish plan.  You, my blog readers, will hopefully help me with my accountability.  I still plan to follow all the steps of Janice Hardy's revision plan, but at a slower pace.  I am allowing myself a week for each step.  I will post a weekly update on my progress as I slowly revise this manuscript and I will type the ending.  Let's see how this new-ish revision plan goes.  I am new-ishly excited!!  If you are interested in joining me in a slower version of the revision plan, I pinned all of the steps to a Pinterest board (If only I were always this organized).

Have you ever tried Janice Hardy's 31 day plan?
Are you interested in joining me on this journey?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

2017 What I'm Reading Wednesday #7 (March 29, 2017)

I just finished Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, one of the books on my list for Erin's book challenge.  Yay!  More progress!

Anyway, here is my progress so far... 
2017 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 8/32
Books from TBR list: 2
Series completed: 0
*Erin's Book Challenge:  5/10  0/Bonus Round


January
1.  Midair by Kodi Scheer
*2.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (TBR)

February
*1.  Christine by Stephen King
2.  The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (yup, I started a new series)

March
1.  The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens (second book in the series)
*2.  Wonder by RJ Palacio (TBR)
*3.  Matched  by Ally Condie
*4.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Currently Reading:
*The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver


What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Books of Beginning Trilogy

Books of Beginning trilogy by John Stephens:

I have read the first two books in this series, The Emerald Atlas and The Fire Chronicle.  Here is what I like:

The Cover:
Yes, I know that you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the spine of the first book was the whole reason I decided to borrow it from the library.  By the way, I judge books by their covers all the time, and it usually works out.
A post shared by Lisa (@lalocadesigns) on
Time Travel:
I love time travel and the paradoxes and problems that it creates.  Sometimes I get a little too caught up in it, trying to figure out how everything fits together.  These books were no exception.  

A post shared by Lisa (@lalocadesigns) on
The Characters:
The siblings are so well-written.  I especially like the middle child, the only brother, Michael.  I love his obsession with dwarves and how he thinks that elves are overrated.  It is such a fun detail.  The characters in these books have full personalities that grab your attention and make you care.

Have you read these books?
What did you think?
Personally, I can't wait to read the third book! 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday #6 (March 15, 2017)

I am currently reading Matched by Ally Condie, one of the books on my list for Erin's book challenge.  Yay!  Progress!

Anyway, here is my progress so far... 
2017 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 4/32
Books from TBR list: 1
Series completed: 0
*Erin's Book Challenge:  2/10  0/Bonus Round


January
1.  Midair by Kodi Scheer
*2.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (TBR)

February
*1.  Christine by Stephen King
2.  The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (yup, I started a new series)

March
1.  The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens (second book in the series)

Currently Reading:
*Matched  by Ally Condie


What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Matched by Ally Condie

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a rand
om page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here is my teaser:
"I put the napkin in my pocket and I think of Ky writing out his story with his red hands, seared from the heat of the job he does.  I think of him risking everything each time he slips one napkin into his pocket.  All these years he's been so careful, but now he's willing to take a chance.  Because he's found someone who wants to know.  Someone he wants to tell."
Matched by Ally Condie

What are you reading this week?
Have you read Matched?  What did you think?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Currently.... (March 8, 2017)

Currently...


Writing... actually editing
I am participating in Fiction University's At Home Workshop to Revise your Novel in 31 Days.  Right now I am working on my editorial map.  I'm a little behind but am already loving the process.

Reading... The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens
I'm enjoying this series and I am already almost finished with book 2.  
A post shared by Lisa (@lalocadesigns) on

Listening to... Latin Pop Classics
One of my favorite stations on Pandora.  Lots of Shakira, Enrique Iglesias and Maná.
Eating... Ghirardelli squares
I especially love the dark chocolate with sea salt and caramel and the dark chocolate with chili caramel.  Yum!

Drinking... so much sparkling water
Plain, mango, apricot... so many flavors, so much yumminess.

Wearing... extra layers
When is the cold weather going to leave???  I want spring!

Feeling... anxious
I recently had an appointment with my new orthopedic surgeon, and we set a date for my surgery.  Nothing left to do but feel anxious.

Weather... cold
Yup, still cold.

Wanting... the school year to be over
I am ready for summer!

Thinking... spring break is only 3 weeks away
I can make it three more weeks :)

Watching... Face Off
Love this show!  This season is All Stars, so they are working in teams of two.  It's really interesting, and the contestants are so talented this season.

Enjoying... the Draw Riot Daily Challenge
Draw a picture every day inspired by a theme.  Lots of fun and great practice with drawing and creating.


What are you up to?
Have you watched Face Off?  Is it still cold where you live?
Have you read The Books of Beginning series?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday #5 (March 1, 2017)

A post shared by Lisa (@lalocadesigns) on
I am currently reading The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens, the second book in the Books of Beginning series.  I'm enjoying it so far.

Anyway, here is my progress so far... 
2017 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 4/32
Books from TBR list: 1
Series completed: 0
Erin's Book Challenge:  1/10  0/Bonus Round


January
1.  Midair by Kodi Scheer
2.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (TBR)

February
1.  Christine by Stephen King
2.  The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (yup, I started a new series)

Currently Reading:
The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens (second book in the series)


What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Fire Chronicle

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a rand
om page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here is my teaser:
"In her defense, it was only when Kate was frustrated or tired that she questioned Dr. Pym's decision to send her and Michael and Emma back to Baltimore.  She knew he hadn't really abandoned them.  But the fact remained: of all the orphanages the children had lived in over the years--one of which had been next to a sewage treatment plant; another had made groaning noises and seemed to be always catching on fire--the Edgar Allen Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans was the worst."
The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens

What are you reading?
Have you read the Books of Beginning series?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Emerald Atlas

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a rand
om page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here is my teaser:
"They were on the edge of a cliff, looking out over a dark valley lit up by lightning flashes.  It was hundreds of feet to the bottom and nothing but sheer rock walls in either direction.  Kate cursed herself, remembering their first day in the orphanage and how they had gone to the waterfall and savored the dizzy, excited rush of watching the river plunge over the cliff.  She should've realized where they were heading."
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens, p.135

What are you reading this week?
Have you ever read The Emerald Atlas?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday #4 (February 15, 2017)

I am still reading Christine but I am getting closer to the end...
A post shared by Lisa (@lalocadesigns) on
Anyway, here is my progress so far... 
2017 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 2/32
Books from TBR list: 1
Series completed: 0
Erin's Book Challenge:  1/10  0/Bonus Round


January
1.  Midair by Kodi Scheer
2.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (TBR)


What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Currently..... (February 8, 2017)

Currently...


Writing... More like editing
I am preparing an excerpt of one of my manuscripts for an online critique group on Steve the Wrimo Forum.  I am really looking forward to getting some feedback.  I am the only one who has read my writing in a long time.  It will be good to share again.

Reading... Christine by Stephen King
Oh my goodness, this book is huge!  What was I thinking?  I have been a very unmotivated reader recently.  I probably should have chosen a smaller book :)

Listening to... Too much news
 I love NPR and I listen daily, but I feel like the news has been a little more intense recently.  It can be overwhelming.


Eating... oranges
I cannot go to the grocery store recently without buying oranges or other citrus.  I cannot get enough.

Drinking... 'Cot in the Act cider by Two Towns
We got a keg for my husband's birthday.  It's an apricot cider and it is yummy.

Wearing... jeans and sweatshirts
If it's comfy and warm, I am wearing it right now!

Feeling... sick
Hubby just had a possible bout of pneumonia.  He had a high fever.  I got a cold too and have been feeling exhausted by the whole thing.

Weather... cold
Still cold here.  The snow went away, but it is cold.  This is still true.  It's supposed to start warming up this week.

Wanting... to go back to Costa Rica
It was amazing!

Thinking... I need to stop picking my nails
I have been doing a lot better but recently started picking at a thumb nail and now I can't stop.

Watching... The Magicians
Just finished season 1 and started season 2.  I am completely addicted to this show!

Enjoying... participating in a trivia tournament 
Hubby and friends and I have formed a team (we're Trivia Newton John!) and we are rocking the trivia world.  Currently tied for first and gearing up for another night of random trivia questions!  

What are you up to?
Have you watched The Magicians?  Been in a trivia tournament?
Have you read Christine?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 What I'm Reading Wednesday #3 (February 1, 2017)

Onto my third book of the year and the second book of Erin's Book Challenge:  Christine by Stephen King.  I am only a few pages in and already loving it.  King is one of my favorite authors.
Anyway, here is my progress so far... 
2017 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 2/32
Books from TBR list: 1
Series completed: 0
Erin's Book Challenge:  1/10  0/Bonus Round


January
1.  Midair by Kodi Scheer
2.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (TBR)


What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Christine

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a rand
om page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here is my teaser:
"This is the story of a lover's triangle, I suppose you'd say--Arnie Cunningham, Leigh Cabot, and, of course, Christine.  But I want you to understand that Christine was there first.  She was Arnie's first love, and while I wouldn't want to presume to say for sure (not from whatever heights of wisdom I've attained in my twenty-two years, anyway), I think she was his only true love.  So I call what happened a tragedy."
Christine by Stephen King, p.1

Have you ever read this book?
What did you think?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 What I'm Reading Wednesday #2 (January 17, 2017)

Well, not much progress has been made.  I found some reading time this weekend and made progress on my current read, And the Mountains Echoed.

Anyway, here is my progress so far... 
2017 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 1/32
Books from TBR list: 0
Series completed: 0
Erin's Book Challenge:  0/10  0/Bonus Round


January
1.  Midair by Kodi Scheer


What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: And the Mountains Echoed

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a rand
om page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here is my teaser:
"People always disappoint Mamá in the end, me included.  They can't make good on what they owe, not the way Mamá expects them to.  Mamá's consolation prize is the grim satisfaction of holding the upper hand, free to pass verdicts from the perch of strategic advantage, since she is always the one who has been wronged."
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, p.302

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 What I'm Reading Wednesday #1 (January 4, 2017)

I am just about to begin my second book of the new year, and the first book of Erin's Book Challenge, And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini.
My goal this year is the same as last year with the added bonus of completing Erin's Book Challenge.  I want to read 32 books, knock some more books off my ever-growing TBR list and complete some more series that I have started.  Here goes.....

Anyway, here is my progress so far... 
2017 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 1/32
Books from TBR list: 0
Series completed: 0
Erin's Book Challenge:  0/10  0/Bonus Round


January
1.  Midair by Kodi Scheer


What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?

Reading Goals 2016

My reading goal for 2016 was to read 32 books.  I almost made it!  I also wanted to read books from my TBR list and complete some series that I had started.

Anyway, here is my progress! 
2016 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 30/32
Books from TBR list: 8
Series completed: 1
2016 Pinterest Board

January
1.  Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
2.  Foreign Gods, Inc by Okey Ndibe
3.  Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy by Dinty W. Moore
4.  Thunder and Lightning by Natalie Goldberg

February
1.  The Double Life of Fidel Castro
2.  Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (Started a new series)
3.  Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult (TBR)
4.  The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld (Completed a series!) 

March
1.  The Magician by Michael Scott (Book 2 of a series)
2.  The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
3.  Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

April
1.  The Art of X-Ray Reading
1.  Doodle Art Handbook by Lana Karr
2.  Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

May
1.  Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (TBR)

June
1.  The Interior Circuit by Francisco Goldman
2.  The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
3.  Frida's Bed by Slavenka Drakulic

July
1.  The Beach House by James Patterson and Peter De Jonge
2.  The Haters by Jesse Andrews
3.  Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (TBR)
4.  Room by Emma Donoghue (TBR)
5.  The Sorceress by Michael Scott (Book 3 of a series)

August
1.  Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (Book 2 of a series)
2.  Armada by Ernest Cline (TBR)
3.  Wild by Cheryl Strayed (TBR)
4.  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

October
1.  The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (TBR)

November
1.  Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (TBR)

December
1.  The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey
2.  The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
3.  Pierced by the Sun by Laura Esquivel


What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?