Saturday, January 04, 2014

Writing prompt attempt 1

It wasn't really stealing. Not really. That's what she kept telling herself as she pounded the pavement, her shoes thudding as she picked up the pace. It's a big store, no one will miss it, they'll just refill the shelves and never notice that ti's gone. She needed it more than the rich person who was going to come in for it would. Dodging puddles, she didn't even notice that it had stopped raining and it had turned to soft white fluffy flakes of snow.

She was almost home when she slipped on the ice that had formed outside her doorway.  But the item was safe, and she gingerly sat up, her pants ripped at the knee, blood welling to the surface, but barely bubbling out of the scratch she'd achieved. Grumbling, she slowly got off the ground, trying to avoid touching the knee to any surface as she did. Hobbling up the stairs, she dug her keys out of the bag, digging past the papers, all the coupons for various items, for the random business cards, her phone, and felt around for the thing. It was in one of those useless compartments of the bag, those things that collect the dust and candy wrappers and coins.

Unlocking the door, she took a quick look round and then headed up the stairs, limping ever so slightly as she did. When she finally did get inside to take a look at it, she noticed it wasn't that deep, but she very carefully removed the gravel and dirt from it. Luckily, there was still some bacitracin from the last literal scrape she had gotten herself into, and she added that to the cut. The more pressing problem was the pants, as that was her last pair that was in any kind of shape. She thought of going back and perhaps stealing a pair, but that was entirely laughable. She wasn't a thief. Most of the time. Just the one thing.

This is my first in a series of quick writings in an attempt to get back into my writing hobby. Opinions, thoughts welcome, of course!

Friday, January 03, 2014

2014 Goals, Books and otherwise.

One of my goals for this year is to write every day, as much as possible. I know I am capable of reading 100 books a year, so that's my goal for that. But I let writing slide this year because of wedding prep and just not having the time. I'm making time this year.

I have 3 other goals this year:

  1. Set up a home business, where I can make money outside of my day job.
  2. Get breast reduction surgery
  3. Get my license, and purchase my first car. (A jeep, if I have my way and $$)
Today's post is part of my writing project. Even if it's just a blog post I want to have written something every day. (There will of course be days where I can't get it done, but everyone has those. I don't need to spend 2 hours a night on tumblr when I can be writing instead! [Don't worry, I'll still spend 2h on Tumblr, mwahahah])

I wanted to make a top 10 list of books I read this year. I usually don't do a top 10, but I read enough books I think I could make a quick and dirty list for y'all.
  1. The Universe Versus Alex Woods, Gavin Extence
  2. Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell
  3. Below Mercury, Mark Anson
  4. All That I Am, Anna Funder
  5. The Prisoner of Heaven, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  6. Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, Jenny Lawson
  7. Written on the Body, Jeannette Winterson
  8. Started Early, Took My Dog, Kate Atkinson
  9. Farthing, Jo Walton
  10. Heading Out to Wonderful, Robert Goolrick
Any of these are great books, and you should read them! Haha.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Part Deux, the Books!

So here's the second part to my 2013 book recap!

What's the best book you read this year?
I don't like to choose, so I selected 3: Below Mercury, Mark Anson; All That I Am, Anna Funder; and The Universe Versus Alex Woods, Gavin Extence.

Any other reading highlights?
Runners up would be Written on the Body, Jeannette Winterson, and Let's Pretend this Never Happened, Jenny Lawson. I read a lot of different genres, and I definitely was pleased with most of the books I read this year. Those would be my top 5, between this question and the last one.
OH! I have to say I absolutely ADORED Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell. So we'll make it a top 6.

What's the most challenging book you read this year?
Defining challenging is the trick here. Was anything difficult reading level wise? Not particularly. Wrapping my brain around the thoughts and ideas, a little more so. I think the most "challenging" book was for me was Adrian Nicole LeBlanc's Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx, which was a decade long study of teenagers in the Bronx. It was eyeopening and heartbreaking.

What's the worst book you read this year?
Ugh, that would probably go to the final book in the House of Comarre series, Last Blood by Kristen Painter. I was SOOOO disappointed in it. I also hated Jane Was Here, by Sarah Kernochlan for similar reasons. (Basically use of racial stereotypes, and all the people of color died in both books).

Which authors featured most prominently for you in 2013?
Isabel Allende and Alison Weir had new books out, and I was thrilled to read them. I read a lot of Lilith Saintcrow, and I was mostly pleased with the books I read from her. I tried to make sure I read a lot more female authors, and books that I already owned instead of buying more.

Were you part of a reading challenge? Did you meet it?
I had a goal of 115, because I missed that # last year. I succeeded, mightily!

Are you signed up for any in 2014?
I'm going to shoot for 100 books, because I plan to write more this year instead.

What books did you get for Christmas?
I actually did not get any books for Christmas! I did buy books for my birthday (Nov. 17) with my Amazon gift card, and those are:
13 Women: Parables from Prison, Karlene Faith
Bittersweet, Nevada Barr
Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice, Janet Malcolm
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
Rubyfruit Jungle, Rita Mae Brown
Wise Women: From Pocahontas to Sarah Winnemuca, Remarkable Stories of Native American Trailblazers, Erin H. Turner

What books are you going to buy next?
I don't know! I usually purchase Kindle daily deals, and I also check my local Goodwill for books on the cheap. Although Alison Weir and Kate Atkinson both have books out that I need to acquire. I do have a $50 gift card that I should use up, mwahahaha.

Which books are you most looking forward to reading in 2014?
I'm looking forward to reading the Native American anthology mentioned above, because I'm working on a "badass lady" project. I also want to finish Jo Walton's Farthing trilogy.

(these questions I stole from last year's post)

Unexpected Terrible Book: I was disappointed in the Kindle serials I read. I think that the cliffhanger idea, while neat does not make it easy to read when the chapters are finally reconstituted into the whole. I know that it is an old idea (Dumas did it for most of his books) but I think that the segues should have been neater. (Disenchanted, by Robert Kroese and The Scourge, by Roberto Calas).

Worst Series: I really really really was disappointed in Last Blood. Like everything was squished into one book, a hanging thread left behind, and I just did not approve of the ending at all.

Unexpected Surprise, Nonfiction: A Brief History of British Kings and Queens, Mike Astley. This is an excellent reference work, and actually included Scottish kings and Welsh kings. Incredibly helpful for elucidating chronologies!

Unexpected Surprise, fiction: Wives and Daughters. Oh man, when I learned she never finished the novel I wanted to cry! I loved the story, I loved the characters, and I love that there wasn't an "evil" character. I really really really enjoyed that book!

Best Series of the Year: Gail Carriger's Finishing School Series! Love these books. They're targeted at YA, but I find them to be utterly adorable.

Best Young Adult Novel of the Year: Again I have to submit the Finishing School series! Loved them. A good runner up would be A Silhouette of a Sparrow, by Molly Beth Griffin, a book I won on Goodreads Giveaways. Great LGBTQIA book.

Most Important Book I Read This Year: Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World, Kathleen Ragan. This is a book that I will read to any future children I may or may not have. Just saying.

So I'm still working on my first two books of this year, carry-overs from last year. I am working on The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt (I do not really like this book, but I am nearly done with it), and 13 Women: Parables from Prison, by Karlene Faith (this is better than Orange is the New Black).

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Book Roundup 2013 style!

Hello friends, it's that time of year where I list all the books I read and talk about my feelings on said books!

I managed 116 books this year, surpassing my goal of 115! All this even with the fact that I got married this year and my boss swore I wouldn't be able to read as many, mwahahaha. Anyway, here we go, in chronological order, under the cut.