Wednesday, January 18, 2017

It's A Heat Wave!

The heat is on here in Australia and I've been trying to get back into my reading; but I'm not. It's just too darn hot. 

So, instead, I've been working on cleaning out the home office where my book collection is instead. So far, I've gotten rid of two 'green' bags and brought the square pine coffee table upstairs into the room. This is a good thing as the living room now has more space than it did last year. 

And it took me about twenty minutes to get it up the stairs because a) it was heavy as hell and b) it was stinking hot that day; almost 40 degrees Celsius (104F). So, it took me a while to get just that done on its own. But it's not just that which has been taking me a while to get done... just cleaning the house has been taking a long time in itself. 

So, reading has become a task more than a pleasure; and the weather bureau says it'll be a little while longer before we come into cooler weather. 

I'm still struggling to write in my everyday journal - I'm starting posts, but finishing them is another thing. I hope you're all working better than I am in this heat... or if you're in the other side of the world and dealing with the other extreme (the freezing cold and that dreadful flu that's striking everyone down), I hope you're going okay there too. Until my next post, happy reading. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Opshop Goodies

I went out to drop off some bags of goods to the local Vinnies when I found out they were having a half-price sale.

What a great thing to stumble upon!

So, I walked around, had a good look at things and found the book section was well-stocked. I found 'The Stone & The Flute' by Hans Bemmann, 'Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks' by John Curran and 'To The Nines' by Janet Evanovich.
Three great books on three totally different subjects; I can't wait to read them. But I don't know when that'll be. 

However, when I was at the coast, I didn't get to go to any opshops, because they were all closed over the New Year period. This was kind of boring because where I was staying, the township lived off second-hand things - nobody bought brand new furnishings; not unless you drive some distance to one of the bigger towns. So, it was a very quiet time over the few days I was at Brunswick Heads.

Anyway, when I came home, I was right into the cleaning out, donating and looking at my garden again. And it's making such a difference. I'll be going through my house again to make it better this year too... as well as my book collection... until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A New Year of Reading!

It's a New Year and I'm back!

I hope you're all back here too. 

Well, I was hoping to write here over the New Year period on Mum's laptop at Brunswick Heads, but Dad kept walking past and asking: 'You still on that?' Well, yeah... that's what a writer does after 3 days of reading a book, writing poetry and sleeping in: we jump online to see what's been going on in the world.

I did have a great time down the coast. I got in and did some reading. I read over 82 pages of 'Life After Life' by Kate Atkinson in about 3 days. So far, it's a great book. I'm looking forward to reading more of it as this author is fantastic with her descriptions.
Then, I started Chapter 4  (page 98)of 'The Haunted Bookshop' by Christopher Morley; and only got to page 108 because I really need to concentrate to read this book - and it's such an old-fashioned book that I can't just sit and read a few pages and be done with it. I have to have a couple of hours to read a good 15 pages and really get into it.

Oh well. It doesn't matter how much I got read of that, so long I got something read of it. 

I also started a poetry book I titled 'Vertical Thoughts' and got a few poems written. I also got back into journaling again - which I'm happy about. It's nice to get back into the long-winded way of writing after a year of keeping things really short. The 'Day-by-Day, Page-by-Page' journal was interesting, but I did find it very restrictive. So, to get back into writing longer posts was a relief. 

So, do tell, what have you been reading - or writing - over the Christmas and New Year period? Did you get more than one book read? Or was is all family time and no reading done at all? Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Re-Reading Old Favourites

I love to re-read old favourites from my collection. But then, we all do. It's something of a comfort to do this kind of thing when you really don't want to be delving into anything new right now.

A lot of the times we do this when we have had a huge thing happen in our lives. When we've been dumped by that person who we thought was 'the one', we delve into our romance novels or the favourite Stephen King novel (and imagine the person who dumped us as the first person who gets killed in it. I don't know why, but this is a comforting thing for us to do). 

But re-reading our old standards is like slipping into a comfy pair of slippers on a cold night. It's the fact you know what's going to happen in each chapter, to each character and what's going on throughout the book. It's like rewatching your favourite television series, years after it's been yanked off the air... it's nice because it's a safe place to be. It's nice to see those actors at the very beginning of their careers and see them so young.

I like re-reading 'The Stand'. It's an old favourite of mine when I just want to sit back and read something in the middle of Winter. You see, this book is set in the middle of Summer, so it pulls me out of the blues and right in the middle of a horrendous cold and flu season, which turns lethal... but it does have a good lot of twisting and turning before it turns out right - as all books do.

Re-reading your old favourites is a good thing for you. It's not that you can't move on from them, I think it's because you want to set yourself up for something different; something more and something lovely in the future. Re-reading great books - just like re-watching old tv shows - is relaxing and fun. And it's something to kick back and chill out with... it winds us down and lets us know that we don't have to be working the old imagination all the time. Until my next post, happy reading.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Holiday Reading List

Wow! It's that time of year again... you know that time, where Christmas Carols are heard pretty much everywhere and you never have enough money to do anything but buy presents for people in your family. It's either stinking hot during the day, with lightning storms in the middle of the night; or freezing cold with 6 feet of snow and closed schools and roads and no way of getting to the store.

Either way, we all have to celebrate Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, St Nicholas Day... and really, it's the biggest thing on our calendars. 

I plan ahead for presents for my family - the immediate family; as I can't afford to really buy anything for cousins and Aunts and Uncles - and so, I make sure I have my immediate family covered first. If I can score a few little presents for others, I'll do that. I buy for myself last... if I can't afford my presents, I'll get myself those presents at the After Christmas Sales. 

But what I look forward to at this time of year is reading something decent. You see, I head to the coast and chill out with a couple of books in my hands; and I'm hoping to get in and do some serious reading at Brunswick Heads while I'm here. You see, they don't really have a decent bookstore... and that's not a great thing for a place with such a colourful public library. So, I take down my own reading material.

'The Haunted Bookstore' by Christopher Morley
'Good Reading Magazine' (monthly publication)
'Life After Life' by Kate Atkinson
'Magical Thinking' by Augusten Burroughs

Yep, three books and a magazine. I'll also be taking my notebook computer to edit my novella as well which I wrote during NaNoWriMo. Otherwise, I'm hoping to get a bit of reading done during the day and editing done at night - the best time of the day to do anything is in the cool of the night. 

So, what are you going to be reading over the Christmas and New Year period, once all the overeating and celebrating is over and done with? Anything wonderful, relaxing or chilling? Or are you all going to just take a well-earned break by the pool, river or fireplace and enjoy a rest from the words on the page? Until my next post, happy reading. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Now.... the Fiddly Part

Or is that the fun part?

It all depends on how you look at book-writing. Some people enjoy the editing and fleshing out of a book, while other detest it.

I love it.

I can fill in the details of people's lives, the feel of a city or the countryside, what they're wearing, how people stand, what colour their hair really is and how their personality really is like. It really is the fun part for me... and it also means that the word count fluctuates in huge way.

I am heading towards the 20,000 word mark and - if you count up the words on the sidebar - you'll see I'm well on my way to making my book what I hope it to be; even if it's just a little novella and not a proper novel. 

Well... I've got another few books to read over Christmas and I'll get my nose into them over the next few weeks. Until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

NaNoWriMo Is Over!

Yep! National Novel Writing Month is over for another year. Now, for those of you who have been battling with writing your novels or novellas, and you've hit the 50,000 word mark, way to go!!! 

As for me? Well, I've past the 15,000 word mark on my novella and am well on my way to the 20,000 words I was initially aiming for! It's all in the editing, fleshing out and making the book into something somebody will want to read.

But... I don't have a title. Yes, I've been stuck for a title this whole time and have just been calling it 'That Travel Guide Romance Time Travel Thingy'... a bit wordy and not really something somebody would want to read. So, if you guys have any ideas, I'd love to hear them... I can tell you the premise of the book:

Annabelle Wilson works in a book exchange in the very centre of Brisbane City, Australia with two wonderfully eccentric store owners, Richard and Millicent. She never thought she'd be working in a bookstore; as it was a temporary thing to get her out into the world of business. But it's been five years and she's loving it. One day, she and Millicent are going through a box of books and Annabelle find a 5-book series of travel guides called 'MacIntyre's Tour Guides' and asks Millicent about them. Her employer tells her that they are old-fashioned, hand-written tour guides which went out of style years ago; and they didn't sell well. So, Annabelle took the 5 home after purchasing them.
Soon, she spends her nights reading about Scotland, Wales and the UK with a lovely tour guide, Darcy Wentworth, as her guide. Little does she know, Darcy knows she's reading his books from another dimension; and can see her and hear her. 
As time goes on, both Annabelle and Darcy's worlds begin to collide in the most unusual ways. Annabelle's employer's turn out to be people she never thought they'd be, a neighbour she had become close friends with passes away with a secret she never knew she shared with her and an old man who lives not far from her helps all of them by telling them all who he is. But as all of this happens, Darcy is on the run in his world. He's in love with Annabelle - which is against the rules of his employment - and to be safe, he must find a way to Annabelle's world to be with her. A storm is brewing in their lives... will they be together in time to thwart the authorities? Or will Annabelle and Darcy lose each other in the storm?

So... there you go. The premise. I hope you guys can get an idea of what's going on and how hard it's been to get a title working for this book. It's been great fun writing something about time travel and books in it; but the title not coming to me at all is weird; normally I have one by now. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Last NaNoWriMo Meeting

Today was a real stinker of a day to be going out anywhere; but I attended the last meeting for the National Novel Writing Month... only to find I was the only person to attend. 

I went because one guy said he was a maybe on Facebook and didn't want to let him down just in case he arrived. So, an hour into it, and I was still the only one there with my little notebook computer plugging away at editing and fleshing out my work.

Last week, I finished my novel... yay!!! But this week, I started editing and fleshing it out with details and scenery. At the 'meeting', I managed to add 200 words onto each of my chapters between chapters 1 and 5... which brought my word count from 7,859 (this number includes chapter 6) to 7,947; which is pretty darned good if you ask me.

Anyway, I'm hoping to get past the last word count I made last week of 13,232 and get this book up to the 20,000 word mark... well, here's hoping anyway! The good thing is that I find fleshing out and editing not only difficult but also easy. Adding detail is always fun and then I'll correct the small things that aren't needed at the same time. Once I've finished the book - which still doesn't have a title - I'll throw a competition to see what I should name the book. This is always fun, as I really don't know what to name it as it's full of time travel, love, hate and is set in my hometown of Brisbane. Anyway, until my next post, happy reading - and writing.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

More Work Done!

NaNoWriMo is coming into its final weeks, and I'm really excited about how my story is coming along.

However, I have one tiny, problem... minute really... it doesn't have a title.

Isn't it strange how people can write something so grand that by the end, they still don't have a title - not even a working title to get an idea of a title from for it.

Oh well, I guess I'll be finding out what it's called in the coming weeks and months as I fiddle with it.

However, my word count has shrunk a little as I've begun editing and working on each chapter... this number will fluctuate as time goes on: 13,232 words out of 9 chapters. Now, I know I said I had over 16,000 words; but like I said, the number has begun to change.

I'll see how many there are by the end of the month and let you know how it all goes by the time I'm happy with it. Until my next post, happy reading - and writing. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Halfway Through!

NaNoWriMo is halfway through and almost everyone is getting right into their stories and books! I'm very excited about my book as it's one of those magical, time-travel style books which reminds me of 'Time & Again' by Jack Finney... very much set in real time and yet set in the magickal times of the other realms. 

I hope I captured both worlds well. 

I set it in my hometown of Brisbane and in a bookstore - where else would I set it, but in a place I'd love to work. 

I've almost finished with the story part of it - as I love to get that part of the book out of the way first before tackling what people look like and the backdrop - and I'll be fleshing it out with the details everyone needs to follow it along in the coming weekend. So far, I've written 16,395 words... which will be expanding to far more by next week! 

How are your NaNoWriMo books coming along? Leave a comment and let us know. Until my next post, happy reading - and writing.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

So Far, So Good!

It's been the first week or so since NaNoWriMo 2016 started up and I'm going well I think.

But seeing I had started planning my book a few weeks in advance, I think I had an advantage in a few ways too - I think that's what has made all the difference.

Over the past week, I've written over 11,134 words so far - with more words to come over the next day or so. I'm hoping to get more work done tomorrow and over the weekend - if the storms we're expecting don't interfere too much.

How is your NaNoWriMo going? Please do let us all know if you're doing it - and how you're going. And if you're stuck, I can suggest a couple of books filled with prompts that may get you kicking along again. otherwise, good luck with your work so far! Until my next post: happy reading - and writing!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Word Count for NaNoWriMo 2016!

Okay... I'm assuming some of you guys'n'gals are taking part in this wonderful innovation for novel-writing this month.

I love it, let's face it. 

It gets my butt into my office chair and gets my fingers moving across the keyboard!

Anyway... I thought to keep you all updated with my word count - as low as they may be; or not - on the sidebar at the top of my blog. I'll be doing this on a daily basis (or by date order; whichever comes first) and you'll be able to see how far I've come.

Now, I've been working on a book in the weeks coming into NaNoWriMo... and thought to keep on writing it. However, I was writing it in longhand in a notebook, and in the last few days of October, I converted it all onto the computer to make it easier for me to look at.

Then, whenever I could, I jumped onto my tablet or on the computer and typed up as much as I could over the last few days.

Given it's only in the couple of hundreds... but I've been busily helping out my family over the last week or so. So, I am hoping to work on this more and more as time passes by. So, watch that top right hand corner and you'll see those numbers add up. But first, I'll put in the numbers for the first 9 chapters so you can see how far I've gotten - so you can see the true number of words I've done thus far.

Good luck with your book this month, and do let us all know how you're doing. After all, this is a global phenomenon and loads of fun to get you writing if you're a little blocked. Until my next post, happy reading - and writing.