What Are You Reading?: June 17th

I changed up the title a little, mostly because a lot of the nonfiction books that I have lined up to read have titles that are about a mile long, and I could not find a way to list them in the title without truncating said title so much that you could not determine what book I was talking about.  Anywho…

I finished up last week’s books sometime around Wednesday, and I spent the next two days thinking of ways to apply those techniques to my writing process for a week or two to see if they added to my production or subtracted from it.  I will start testing those on Monday, when my writing routine picks back up.  (I rarely write on the weekends.  I use Saturday and Sunday to schedule announcements, format books, make book covers, and so on.)

This week, I will be reading Successful Self-Publishing:  How to Self-Publish and Market your Book in Ebook and Print by Joanna Penn and Fat Girl Hiking by Juniper Shaw.

I chose Joanna Penn’s book because I am beginning to up my game when it comes to publishing, both nonfiction and fiction, and I needed more information on how to make my adventure as successful as possible.  I love her podcast, and I listen to it as often as I can.  Especially when I need the inspiration to get off my behind and get to work.

Fat Girl Hiking is a review request from a brand-new author.  Juniper asked me to read her book and leave an honest review almost a month ago, and due to school getting out, kids in general, and life, well, I haven’t gotten to it yet.  So I am adding that to my reading list for this upcoming week.

What are you planning to read this week?

What Are You Reading?: Outlining Your Novel & 5,000 Words per Hour

This week, I am pulling two more of my nonfiction books off the shelf to read.  I won’t be on-the-go so much this week, so I will probably finish them much more quickly than I finished last week’s books  (which I finished up at 5 AM this morning).

I have had several people recommend that I read Chris Fox’s 5,000 Words Per Hour from his Write Faster, Write Smarter series, since I am such a nut for keeping up for my word count.  Hopefully, once I read this, I will be able to get my daily word count up, and hopefully, that word count will be high on the fiction-side of what I write.  I have been working on too much nonfiction lately.

I grabbed K. M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel simply because I was trying to outline a novel, and it was not going well, so I grabbed one that had good, positive reviews that sounded like it worked with my writing process.  We will see, though.

So, those are the two books on my reading list this week.  If I remember to, I will update my two read books on my Goodreads profile (which I tend to neglect), and I will have reviews for those written as soon as I can.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Weekly Update: Jan 1 – Jan 7

Wow, it has been a long week.  Sunday and Monday were pretty much shot from the moment the kids woke up.  After two weeks of being cooped up inside because they were sick the entire Christmas Break, they were well beyond the realms of Cabin Fever.  Just trying to keep them from killing each other was a full-time job those days, so absolutely no writing was done on either of them.

Everyone went back to school on Tuesday.  And I will admit that I did not know what to do with myself.  I could not settle down to any one thing.  I tried.  I made the decision over Christmas Break that Science Fiction, Fantasy, and all their pretty little subgenres were what really made me want to write, so I spent a little bit of time on Tuesday pulling projects off my schedule that were not in those genres and were already making me dread those weeks where I was going to have to work on them.  That cleared a few things off my work schedule for the year.

But beyond that, I did nothing writing-wise on Tuesday.  I reclaimed my house from all the Christmas decorations, and I got them put away, and I did a few household chores that I had not gotten done while everyone was sick over Christmas, but yeh, Tuesday was wasted for the most part.

Wednesday was a bit better.  I have a new post-apocalyptic story idea that hit me during Christmas Break.  I scribbled it down, but I never really got the time to sit down and work on it until Wednesday.  I spent the entire day (well, my entire workday which is about 7:30 in the morning until about 2:10 in the afternoon–that’s when I have the least amount of kids at home) with my notebook and a very handy backroads map of my home state, and I plotted my main character’s journey across the map.  I think right now that it will be a three-book series that will occur within a one-month span.  I very much would like to travel his “course” in real life and take loads of pictures, but I know that will not be possible, so I may be relying on Google Earth for a lot of my descriptive intel.  But that was Wednesday.  I don’t know when this series will be actually drafted out since I have a lot of other planned out series ahead of it, but it will see the light of day one day because I can’t stop thinking about it, which usually means it is a good idea to go with.

Thursday.  Ah, Thursday.  I woke back up with sinus congestion, and I still had to get the first installment of Pangaea written and edited into something intelligible.  I’m still not sure I pulled off the latter, but hey, I tried.  So that was all day Thursday and a little bit into Friday morning.  And honestly, I posted that sucker in all the places where I said I was going to, then I got off the computer and took a nap with the kiddo that I have at home with me.

And Saturday, I read.  I’m about halfway through The Sea of Storms by Mark Whiteway.  I’m finding it a bit hard to get into, but several other readers said the same and that it picked up after a while, so I will keep on reading because I really do want to know what happens.  And once it is done, I will chock it up to my Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge, and I will move on to Terry Goodkind’s Stone of Tears.

How did your writing week go?

Book Review: Steel and Stone by Ellen Porath

Steel and Stone (Dragonlance: Meetings Sextet, #5)Steel and Stone by Ellen Porath
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book covers an adventure involving my two favorite characters from the Dragonlance series, Tanis and Kitiara. These two always had a beautiful character dynamic, and there has rarely been a story involving these two that I did not enjoy.

Granted, this was not one of the best from the Meetings Sextet, but the story is good enough, and it was a quite enjoyable re-read. The writing style is aimed more towards pre-teens and teens, as all Dragonlance stories are, so it may be a bit harder to enjoy as an adult, but it is an enjoyable story.

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Book Review: The Eden Plague by David VanDyke

The Eden Plague (Plague Wars #1)The Eden Plague by David VanDyke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is a bit of a love it or hate it kind of book, with no room in the middle. But I’m finding that I did not love it, and I really didn’t hate it. There was aspects of the story that I loved–the science behind the plague (didn’t like that it was extraterrestrial, but I liked what the plague did), the characters, and the master plan.

But I did not enjoy the military-speak of it, and I did not like the way in which the story was told. I felt that there were truly only a few key scenes, then the rest was filler–broad synopses without any real specifics or character interaction. And then the few key scenes had so much military jargon in it that I was completely turned off by the “action” scenes.

I finished it, though. And though I did love the characters and the story behind the novel, I will not be continuing the series simply because of the disconnect I felt the entire time I read. When I read a book, I want to be immersed in it, and with this one, I never could quite connect with any of the characters.

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