Happy Readathon Day, bookworms! Hope everyone has all their favorite books and snacks ready. Usually, by now I’ve posted a hopeful TBR, but this year I’ve bought a house, moved, and kept everything going while I did. I’ve planned so much that literally when I wrote my last novel I never even wrote a plot. I’m a plotter through and through, but besides some notes at the bottom of the document my upcoming holiday novel Catnip and Mistletoe (Book 10 of Love by Glitter Bomb) was entirely pantsed. For those of you who know me personally or follow the blog you know that’s not how I usually do things. I think maybe moving this time planned me out. To be totally honest, the last few months have felt like an emotional hangover with all the big changes happening so quickly.
I’m on a roll this year with reading, though. Last year I scrapped by with 200 books because of the pandemic. Before that I couldn’t even swing 100 a year. I think I hit 80ish in 2019. Which was still a lot, but friends were reading way more than I was. This year I kept that ‘updated’ reading habit. Stressed? Read. Shit happening I can’t control? Read. Too tired to do anything else but it isn’t time for bed? Read. Seriously, I think my brain just liked that part of lockdown. Though, to be honest, even through moving I saw as few people as possible and pretty much have gone back into my own semi-lockdown mode since finishing everything. I live in a pretty conservative area and don’t trust people to be smart with the pandemic. Sorry, not sorry. I’ve seen what people do here.
Anyway, that was a side tangent, what I meant to say, was despite reading 175 books so far this year I still have shelves of unread books and today that’s a good thing. I’ve planned a lot of my reads this year between r/bookclub over on Reddit (if you’re looking for an online bookclub that reads diversely check us out!) and buddy reads. So, I’m ready to go back to browsing my unread shelves and finding my next read that way. Some of the books were bought years ago and it’s like finding a surprise. Don’t worry. The books I read and don’t want to keep forever are gifted/donated/given to the library. They’re not sitting in a landfill or filling up my entire house until I’m just at a table with coffee and a laptop writing my next novel.
So, that’s exactly what I plan to do in a few hours. I’m going to comb my shelves and find something totally unplanned to read. Usually, I have a blogging/check-in plan too, but not this time. Maybe I’ll check in throughout the day or maybe I’ll just come back tomorrow morning and do a wrap-up. But I have my pumpkin spice coffee and lots of options.
There is a little less than 3 hours before Dewey’s officially starts. Lucky for me, I’ve always been an early riser. So, I have some time blog and entertain the cat and wake up enough brain cells to sink into a novel.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Readathon click here.
Coffee. It’s always first on my list to get ready for anything. I’m probably more a coffee based organism than a water based one at this point.
Before the readathon starts I have a few things to get done around the house, I want to squeeze in a quick work out so I don’t get all stiff too early in the day, and of course I need breakfast and stuff. I’ve been eating breakfast rather late in the day, but today I’m eating early so I can read 8-12 without stopping to cook. I have a meal prep that will either be lunch or dinner and I plan to order out for the other meal if the rain isn’t too bad. If it is, I won’t put my poor delivery guy through that. I live on the third floor of an apartment with no elevator. While I’m getting everything done this morning I plan to listen to the last 45 minutes or so of the audiobook of Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. I’m not counting it for the readathon since it’s not time, but I just want to get it finished up anyway. I really like his take on the stories.
Once the readathon starts I plan to check in at noon, 4, and 8 EST time. After 8 I’ll be getting ready for bed and will resume reading and probably squeeze in another hour or 2 tomorrow morning. I don’t think I’ve ever broken 10 hours of reading in one of these in the last 3 or 4 years I’ve done them. I’d like to, but there are only so many hours in the day. So, we shall see how it goes.
Since I don’t consider myself much of a morning reader these days (I’m usually writing in the morning) I’m going to start with something a bit nostalgic and YA. I last read Scott O’Dell’s The Island of the Blue Dolphins when I was approximately 8 years old and in third grade. My teacher, Mrs. Maynard has this little library we could borrow from and AR reading had just began and it’s one of the few books that stick out from my early reading. I haven’t read this book in almost 24 years, but I do remember finishing it in a Saturday afternoon as a kid. So, it has to be easy reading for 32 year old me in the morning, right? lol
After that I’ll grab a book from this stack or grab one of the books I’m reading along with some lovely people from r/bookclub over on Reddit. I have two that we’re finishing up this weekend if I need a break from what’s in the stack.
Happy reading today! If you’re reading for Dewey’s too what’s first on your list?
P.S. I forget how distractable I am in the morning. Every time I went to grab a photo or link I got distracted. It’s taken me almost 45 minutes to write this little blog.
I’m up early enough today that I beat the cat up. She’s not ready for breakfast yet. Which gives me a few minutes to ramble here about Nano prep when I should be starting my novel. I have a vampyric MC this time around and I’m excited. Teenage Maggie would be head over heels to know I’m writing vampire romance at all now. I guess somethings never change.
Except they do. I’d sworn off Camp Nano after the last time. I really did. It was a good experience and I wrote a great novel that went on to do well, but it was sooo stressful. Why was it stressful? Because talking about writing and writing a novel at the same time is stressful. I haven’t forgotten this, but my life is different now. (How could it not be with the pandemic, right?) Also, that was like 3 years ago I think. Maybe 2 years ago. I’m not even sure anymore. What I’m getting at is I think I learned some better time/word management since then. At least, I hope so. We’ll find out in the middle of April if I’m banging my head on the wall or not.
So… What am I doing to prep for Camp NaNo?
Honestly, I’m lucky with this one. I already know what I need/want/am going to write. It’s the next book in my Love by Glitter Bomb Series. It’ll be book 7 in the series. I know who my MCs are. I know one of them quite well. He’s a dragon shifter. The other is the newcomer to the series. So, to help myself get set up I think I’m going to blog through the steps.
1. What’s Standing in My Way of Writing?
I ask this question every time I set down to start a novel. What’s going to get in my way. Your list will probably be different than mine, but here’s a look at what a list might look like. Be sure to be honest with yourself. You can plan around obstacles if you don’t admit to them.
April is storm weather in Appalachia sometimes. (If you’re a longtime reader you know my storm anxiety isn’t going anywhere.) Tonight we’re in for another bad storm after having one at the end of last week too.
Part time work. (Covid economy sucks, but you gotta do what ya gotta do.)
I’ll need to get the publishing stuff ready for Dead Mates Society (The short story that is Love by Glitter Bomb 6.5)
I’ll need to get the next box set up for pre-order/publishing.
There is one question that is important to the plot that I don’t know the answer to right now.
I plan to put out a lot more blogs than usual.
As the weather warms up I’ll have to tell people to buzz off. People will want to hang out and I probably won’t want to hang out. For me, since I’m not eligible to be vaccination in my state the pandemic is the best excuse I have.
Normal CPTSD crap.
I’m participating in 2 book club reads and a buddy read next month.
I’m eating healthy again and I swear sometimes meal prepping feels like it takes up more time than it saves.
Existential dread has been my middle name for the last month or two. This isn’t healthy for writing.
Now, your list will probably include things mine doesn’t touch on and that’s okay. Just be honest with yourself and plan around these things. This week leading up to camp I plan to share some tips on how to manage that.
2. Gather Supplies
Since writing is for the most part my full time job. I don’t have many supplies I need to go out and get. At this point outside of my planners I mostly do everything virtually. But figuring out what you need before April gets here will save you so much time that you can in turn use for writing.
3. Are You a Pantser or Plotter or Some Combination of?
I’m a combo. I usually know my ending, my beginning, and have a vague idea (not written down) of what will happen. Then I usually write until my characters and the plot are a bit fleshed out and then I’ll plot the rest of the way. If you’re a hardcore plotter you might want to do this part before April.
4. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Trying to Write the Same Amount Every Day
Okay, so, yeah, I know that camp is for finishing projects or doing your own thing, but even if you’re writing the tale end of a novel, I think this will help you out. Don’t plan on writing the same amount every day. Don’t plan on writing every day. I know – some of you are making the scream face right now and that’s okay. Just hear me out, alright? Thanks!
Some days are busier than others and unless you’re writing full time it’s not always possible to squeeze in a full length writing session. Plot your hopeful word counts ahead of time, but leave wiggle room. Maybe only aim for 500 on busy days or less if 500 words seem like a lot to you. I use Pace Maker (Thanks Karsyn for telling me about it forever ago if you’re reading this!) It’s free and it has a lot of features that you can adjust to help you plot out how many words you need to write on any given day.
Be nice to yourself. You’ll get there, but not all in one day.
I know this is some of the most common advice given to aspiring writers – but it’s so important. By reading you learn so many little things and how they work together. You get a feel for what makes a book a book. I know a lot of people who write are avid readers, but I have a friend working on the second draft of a novel who isn’t really a reader. It happens, but believe me your writing life will be easier if you read.
What are you doing to get ready for Camp NaNo?
WIP: Love by Glitter Bomb Book 7.
What’s with the editor: Dead Mates Society (Love by Glitter Bomb Book 6.5)
So, I enjoyed last month’s O.W.L.s Magical Readathon so much that I had to find another one to participate in this month. I considered Bout of Books, but that one is for just reading more. Honestly, I’m reading more than ever. That’s not a challenge this year. So, I went on the search because I wanted prompts and this one hosted/created by Getting Hygge With It on YouTube is a readathon I can get behind.
Quarnatineathon – is a readathon for the modern times and reminder that staying in doors is good not only for our health right now, but for those who have to go out to work and those at high risk. I won’t tell anyone what to do – but honestly, my state’s starting to lift restriction soon and they can kiss my arse. I won’t be going out and resuming normal activities. I’ve been telling everyone I know to listen to scientists and doctors and watch the data roll in themselves. The economy will never be worth your life. That’s why I love the message behind this readathon. The prompts the host came up with are fantastic and suit the situation.
I’ll link her video at the end for everyone to check out, but here’s how it works. Short. Simple. To the Point. Just the way I like things. (Well, sometimes I like things like a long list of prompts relating to my Hogwarts courses, but I like stuff like this too. I’m complicated.)
The readathon runs from May 3- 30th. One prompt for each week of the month.
WEEK 1 – Read a book that explores the hard times humanity has faced before. We WILL get through this too!
WEEK 2 – Read a book about a character who would be at risk from the coronavirus. Stay inside for them!
WEEK 3– Show essential workers some love by reading a book about an essential worker as a main character.
WEEK 4– Read a book about what you miss most from the normal world. Live vicariously through it!
Since this readathon only has 4 prompts I’ll read other books throughout the month too, but my TBR is as follows.
WEEK 1 – Read a book that explores the hard times humanity has faced before. We WILL get through this too!
The Am Spiegelgrund clinic, in glittering Vienna, masqueraded as a well-intentioned reform school for wayward boys and girls and a home for chronically ill children. The reality, however, was very different: in the wake of Germany’s annexation of Austria on the eve of World War II, its doctors, nurses, and teachers created a monstrous parody of the institution’s benign-sounding brief. The Nazi regime’s euthanasia program would come to determine the fate of many of the clinic’s inhabitants.
Through the eyes of a child inmate, Adrian Ziegler, and a nurse, Anna Katschenka, Steve Sem-Sandberg, the author of the award-winning The Emperor of Lies, explores the very meaning of survival. An absorbing, emotionally overwhelming novel, rich in incident and character, The Chosen Ones is obliquely illuminated by the author’s sharp sense of the absurd. Passionately serious, meticulously researched, and deeply profound, this extraordinary and dramatic novel bears witness to oppression and injustice, and offers invaluable and necessary insight into an intolerable chapter in Austria’s past.
WEEK 2 – Read a book about a character who would be at risk from the coronavirus. Stay inside for them!
Once a century, for only six days, the bay around a small Washington island glows like a water-bound aurora. Dr. Rachel Bell, a scientist studying the 100-Year Miracle and the tiny sea creatures that create it, knows a secret about the phenomenon that inspired the region’s myths and folklore: the rare green water may contain a power that could save Rachel’s own life (and change the world). When Rachel connects with Harry and Tilda, a divorced couple cohabiting once again as Harry enters the last stages of a debilitating disease, Harry is pulled into Rachel’s obsession and hope as they both grasp at this once-in-a-lifetime chance to save themselves.
But the Miracle does things to people. Strange and mysterious things. And as these things begin to happen, Rachel has only six days to uncover and control the Miracle’s secrets before the waters go dark for another hundred years.
WEEK 3- Show essential workers some love by reading a book about an essential worker as a main character.
The fearless memoir of a young forensic pathologist’s rookie season as a NYC medical examiner, and the cases, hair-raising and heartbreaking and impossibly complex, that shaped her as both a physician and a mother.
Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband T.J. and their toddler Daniel holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation, performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy’s two years of training, taking readers behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple, including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines flight 587.
Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in one of America’s most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. The body never lies, and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on shows like CSI and Law and Order to reveal the secret story of the real morgue.
WEEK 4- Read a book about what you miss most from the normal world. Live vicariously through it! (More on why I chose this one for this prompt in a later blog.)
In this follow up to CALL THE MIDWIFE, Jennifer Worth, a midwife working in the docklands area of East London in the 1950s tells more stories about the people she encountered.
There’s Jane, who cleaned and generally helped out at Nonnatus House – she was taken to the workhouse as a baby and was allegedly the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat. Peggy and Frank’s parents both died within 6 months of each other and the children were left destitute. At the time, there was no other option for them but the workhouse. The Reverend Thornton-Appleby-Thorton, a missionary in Africa, visits the Nonnatus nuns and Sister Julienne acts as matchmaker. And Sister Monica Joan, the eccentric ninety-year-old nun, is accused of shoplifting some small items from the local market. She is let off with a warning, but then Jennifer finds stolen jewels from Hatton Garden in the nun’s room.
These stories give a fascinating insight into the resilience and spirit that enabled ordinary people to overcome their difficulties.
This is just part of what I’ll read in May, but I invite everyone who is able – stay home, read, game, make art. Try making sourdough bread and dalgona coffee (I like this one) and all those other things that are becoming cliche as we stay inside. Try them or try something else and start a new trend.
2019 has NOT been the best year of my adult life. Looking back, I think it might win the title for the most hectic and dramatic, though. I’m looking forward to a new decade and a new perspective on life.
This year hasn’t been all bad. I practice rapid publishing – meaning I’m constantly writing, editing, publishing, rinse and repeat. It’s my full time job. This also means I published 8 books this year. I hope to match or beat the number next year. I don’t have as many distractions now. I’m currently working on a standalone novel that will be my first book of the year.
As far as reading goes it’s 12/29/19 and I’ve read 78 books this year. That’s 3 over my goal of reading 75, but I feel like I haven’t read as much as I’d like to this year. So, in 2020, I’m putting reading back on the front burner now that I live alone.
My aim is to read 100 books next year, but more than that I’m going to make an honest effort to read every day. I know, it’s unlikely that I’ll make it reading 366 days in a row. (Yep. 2020 is a leap year.) Real life happens. But that is my reading goal for this year. I’m going to be nice to myself and count audiobooks too – as long as I listen for at least 30 minutes a day. It’s not the same as burying my nose in a book, but I do think it’ll make me more likely to stick to the goal.
I likely won’t compile a huge list of what I read. I won’t track reading time or anything like that. That (for me) takes the joy out of reading. The point of reading every day for a year is to ensure I slow down and remember to enjoy myself in between hectic moments of adulting.
Howdy? How’s your readathon going? I needed to get up and move around and get my brain awake! I just cracked open my second pepsi of the day. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down and read this much all at once! I’m half way through my second book and it’s great so far!
I’m only beginning to recover from my post-publishing slump . Most of my time since publishing Healer’s Oath has been spent sleeping, reconnecting with friends, and just vegging out watching Netflix and Hulu. Recently, I started working on book 5 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga and am happily moving towards Blake’s HEA, but I’m 7 books behind my reading goal for the year and it’s only April! Good thing I decided to participate Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon tomorrow. If you plan to participate be sure to sign up.
Since I’m not planning to read for the whole 24 hours (My pillow would miss me!) I likely won’t make it through every book on my list, but I like to be prepared for all possibilities. I’m currently working through the Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay it’ll be my go to book to start the day. It’s rather long and I’m only about 10% through it. It’s really interesting so far. I just haven’t had much time to read recently. The others are combinations of short novels, stories, and just some books that have lived on my TBR list for a long time.
I know I won’t read all of these in one day, but they’re what I’ve set aside for the day. Chances are I’ll finish the first one and read some of the short stories from Only the Animals. After that, I’ll likely be read out.
What’s on your TBR list for Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon?