Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I've noticed I don't have time do do a whole lot of writing when Brent isn't home. If Bryce even senses that I'm ~in the zone~ he throws a fit and climbs into my lap and I can't get anything done. I haven't written anything that wasn't homework-related since Friday, and I keep progressing the story in my head but I can't actually get anything down because I'm always chasing a toddler.
Hopefully since I cleaned during today's nap time, I can write during tomorrow's.
But then again, he may just decide to skip nap time altogether. That seems to be a trend these days.
I miss the two-naps-a-day times some days.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Writing: My Second Unpaid Job

I guess it's not really fair to call either of my "unpaid jobs" by that name.
The first is being a mother. It's a round-the-clock-gig, no matter how early I have to get up the next day for work. Thankfully, I have a loving husband who takes over baby duty the night before my alarm is set for the ungodly hour of 5am, so sometimes I actually get more than three hours of solid sleep. It's nice. But being a mother is not a job. I love being a mom. I love spending time with my kid (most of the time), and I wouldn't change a thing. (Except maybe a few extra hours of sleep, and less biting while nursing, but those are small things to ask for, right?)
Second, I do not get paid to write. At least not yet. It's been a dream of mine to publish something-- anything-- just to get my name out there. Maybe some day I'll be on some bestselling list, even if it's not as well-known as the New York Times bestsellers. But I do want to publish.
For the past two days, I've sat in a kitchen chair that doubles as a computer chair until I can afford a replacement, for about six hours each day, writing, outlining, and researching. As I type this, my feet and buttcheeks are numb. My wrists ache from the typing and the awkward angle at which I am forced to do so. My eyes feel like sandpaper.
But it's worth it.
 I'm writing. I'm finally writing, after a long period of writer's block, and it feels good.
I finished the beginning of my story tonight. I hate beginnings. They suck. They're horrible to write. But I did it.
3721 words down today,
5871 words total.
I’m going to bed.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by JK Rowling

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Plot: Harry, who has grown  up with his horrible relatives, finds out he is a wizard. But he's not just any wizard-- he is the boy who somehow stopped the darkest wizard of all time when he was just a baby. Harry goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he gets more than he bargained for as far as hands-on education is concerned. With his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger by his side, makes it through challenges to once again confront Lord Voldemort, and also he makes it through his final exams.

My Thoughts: It had been a while since I read this book. A good three years at least. But it was the book that started it all. It's an amazing beginning to a magical series, and it's pretty much flawless.

Review Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Plot: When the love of Katie's life, Matt, leaves her, he leaves behind a diary. This diary is written by his former wife, Suzanne, to their infant son, Nicholas. Suzanne tells the story of how she met Matt and about their relationship and having Nicholas. Katie is torn between hatred and love, worrying about this other family while hating what Matt has done to her.

My thoughts: The movie was better. I hate it when people say this. It makes my skin crawl. But I did not like this book. James Patterson needs to stick to writing suspenseful books.

Review: The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry

My Rating: The Giver-- 5 out of 5 stars; Gathering Blue-- 4 out of 5 stars; Messenger-- 4 out of 5 stars; Son-- 4.75 out of 5 stars; Overall-- 4.5 out of 5 stars

Plot: The series begins in Jonas' community-- a utopia of sorts in a dystopian world. Jonas learns that the world is not as small and perfect as his community, and the truth of this new world needs to be told. The following three books follow different characters (with appearances of previous characters in each book), and shows how each community is different, and the scary traditional ways that they are all the same. Son wraps the quartet up nicely, bringing much of the plot full circle and ending on a happy not.

My Thoughts: These are not happy books. They're emotionally straining, especially for books that you're required to read in middle school. They hurt. You get attached, and you feel everything. Reading the second book, I had a feeling that it had something to do with The Giver, I just wasn't sure. Then I stumbled upon Messenger and Son, and I knew I had to read them all. Gathering Blue was kind of frustrating, because I just wanted answers. But Messenger and Son wrap it up nicely. However, I do have a lot of unanswered questions, so I can't completely give it 5 stars, even though the series is really, really great. If you haven't read these books, you really should. Especially since The Giver is coming out as a movie in August (lord, help us).

Review: Son (The Giver Quartet #4) by Lois Lowry

My Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

Plot: Claire is a Birthmother. Her purpose in life is to birth three newchildren, and when she is done with that, she will be placed somewhere random in the community. When her first birth goes terribly wrong, she is placed at the fish hatchery; but she feels incomplete without her son. She makes it her mission to reunite with her son, even when a string of events make this seem completely impossible. She will do anything it takes to get her son back, even if it means risking her life.

My Thoughts: This book as an individual unit is amazing. I love that it was split nicely into three parts. I love that it connects the other three books to make the series come full circle. And I love that it ends with a happy ending. At first when part two started, I thought I would lose interest, but I kept reading and I loved it so much. Minus .25 of a star because I have so many unanswered questions. If you haven't read the first three books in The Giver Quartet, do so, and then read this book. You will not regret it.

Goodreads Challenge

[reposted from my tumblr]

I’ve set my goal for fifty books this year. Last year, I set it to 45, and I didn’t quite make it. Mostly I just read textbooks because that’s all I had time for. But this year, I really plan on reading a lot more. I’m starting the year with the Potter books, then I’ll move on to The Giver Quartet, then some singles, and go from there. 
I feel like I need to redeem myself after the crap reading I did last year.
Wish me luck!

Review: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Plot: (Without giving anything away because this is a must-read) Biographer Margaret Lea is called upon by renown, mysterious author Vida Winter to write her biography. Margaret is thrust into the story of the March family, where she is captivated by the tale of twins and the lives they led in a town where no one quite understood them. All the while, Margaret is facing memories of her own, and together she and Vida Winter come to terms with who they are.
My Thoughts: Oh. my. gosh. This book. This book. Wow. Oh my gosh. From start to finish, this book is a page turner. I didn’t want it to end, and I really feel like I know the characters intimately. I feel completely satisfied with the ending, and I would recommend this book 10000%. There is not a single thing I can comment negatively on.

Review: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Plot:Katie moves to Southport with a large bucket of secrets, determined to be left alone, but that changes when she meets Alex, the owner of the store where she shops, and his two children.
My thoughts: This was a good book. I flew through it. I couldn’t put it down. I constantly wanted to know more about Katie’s secrets, and the last hundred pages or so flew by. I’m not usually one for lovey-dovey books, but I think that this book is fantastic, and maybe even intense. The twist in the last chapter probably could have been wrapped up a little better, but it ended the story nicely

Review: Allegiant (Divergent Series #3) by Veronica Roth

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Spoiler-free plot: (Kind of hard but I will try) Tris and Tobias, and their friends, learn the truth of what it means to be Divergent or not Divergent. Stuff happens. People die. I really cannot talk about the plot without spoiling so I’m not going to.
My opinion: I. loved. it. I was waiting to hate it and throw it across the room and be pissed off at Veronica Roth for what she did, but it. makes. sense. It was sad. So incredibly sad. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry my eyes out, and then go stand under the shower numbly for a half hour after finishing the book. But it was good. The ending was rushed though. I feel like it just stopped. Which I guess kind of makes sense, but I was hoping for a little more closure, which is why I didn’t give it five stars like I had originally planned. Anyways, it’s a good book. Read the whole series and cry along with me.

Review: The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

My ratings: Divergent: 4.5; Insurgent: 5; Allegiant: 4.5; Overall: 4.5
Spoiler-free plot: Beatrice learns that she is Divergent, and that Divergent is very dangerous. When a government official decides to do something about these Divergent citizens, things happen. Vague inserty stuff because I can’t actually really say anything that happens after this without giving anything away so yupp.
My opinion: Before reading this series, I wasn’t sure if I liked dystopian books, or mainstream literature. Apparently, I do. These books are incredible. Roth writes so well that you forget you’re reading a book. It feels so real, and maybe because it could happen some day. I was reading at the speed of light whenever I picked the book up to read, but I also put off finishing the series because it was so good and I was so attached and I didn’t want it to end. These books are phenomenal. Now we can only hope the movies don’t screw them up.
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