2015 Reading Challenge

I’ve already told you about my 30 book goal for this upcoming year, but why don’t we kick it up a few notches? This list has 50 different challenges so hopefully I’ll be able to knock out a few with each book.

I can already see that some of the books I plan to read fit these categories, but several look to be far out of my typical genres/preferences. Thanks to Lynette for posting this list!

Lynette Noni

Look what I found! I am SO doing this! Anyone with me?

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Why I’m Doing NaNoWriMo Even Though I Know I Won’t Win

from http://dailystockshot.blogspot.com/2011_03_01_archive.html*

Last year was the first time I participated in NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month. You may have heard me talk about it personally or read one of the several posts I’ve written on it. NaNoWriMo was incredible.

I was dared to participate in the challenge to write 50,000 words in a month, and I exceeded that challenge. I ended on the 30th of November with over 60,000 words of a novel on my computer. Then I did the only thing I could think of–I kept writing. On December 27th, I typed those two fateful words: “The End.”
Since that day, I’ve been slowly but surely working my way through the draft, dusting plot bunnies away and putting dirt into plot holes. When someone mentioned NaNo to me a month ago ago, it got me thinking. Can I really do this all over again? The typical NaNoWriMo participant is tasked to write 50,000 new words during the month of November. This year participants can continue a work in progress, but I don’t have much new writing to do. I need to edit. To follow the rules, I’d need to begin a new novel.

The thought that keeps popping up in my head is this: I’m in graduate school now. My free time can be summed up in the moments I take to eat food while I’m studying. My goals have changed. Earning my doctorate is priority number one, but who says I can’t attempt  NaNo anyway? Start a new novel. Write 50,000 new words. The thing is, I don’t like to leave projects unfinished. Continue reading

Bring Back the Books

Edit: For some reason all of my spacing went away. That has now been fixed!

All through middle school and high school, I was rarely without a book. Whether I had one stuffed in my purse or was blatantly reading at the dinner table, I always had one on me. With the advent of the Kindle, I could even read on my iPod without people being any the wiser. Unfortunately, as college grew harder and life started to pick up (ie. grad school), the books got shoved to the background.

What’s sad is that I still have the same amount of leisure time. Something else has filled my time. I have to confess it. I have a Netflix problem.

Where I used to read at least a book a month, I have barely read a thing these past few without solid nagging from a friend waiting on me to catch up in a series. (Read Brandon Sanderson. It doesn’t matter which book, just go.) In the same few months, I have watched many seasons of Scrubs, a few of Buffy, a few of Community, and even more. It needs to stop. As wonderful and amazing as these shows are, I need to get back to what made me the person I am. Get back to what helped me get into Notre Dame: reading for pleasure.

Therefore, thanks to gentle (or not so gentle) nudging from a friend, I have a list of books that I am going to read.

1) Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King

Seeing as I am 70%(ish) of the way through overhauling my first manuscript, I should have finished this book months ago. Better late than never? There’s always the second revision pass. Continue reading

Showing in the Real World

One of the most common bits of writing advice that we authors give each other is “Show, don’t tell.”

Don’t tell a reader what your character is feeling. Show through the setting, body language, dialogue, and prose what your character is feeling. I can easily see this advice being taken and ignored in books that I have read and pieces I have critiqued. But I have never really thought it applied outside of the writing world. Continue reading