Archive for September, 2011

Even though I slacked on writing this summer, I didn’t slack on my goal of reading 50 books in a year. Actually, I reached that goal yesterday when I finished James Barclay’s Shadowheart. I only read 22 books this summer, but I must say I enjoyed them. I challenged myself to read 3 nonfiction books outside of what I’d usually read. I came home with a dating book, internet sex psychology, and useless trivia. And the some more.

  • St.Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (Karen Russell)- A collection of delightful short stories. Biggest complaint was that many of the short stories felt unfinished. It was like reading the first chapter in the book; It raised more questions than answers. None the less, the short story that gives the book it’s namesake was probably my favorite and made the entire book worth it.
  • Wolfsangel (MD Lachlan)- Vikings, werewolves, and sorceresses, oh my! An interesting take on the Norse myth that promises for the next two books in the series to be equally as captivating.
  • Zombie Blondes (Brian James)- One of my least favorite books I read this summer. Those high-school cheerleaders really are soulless.
  • A billion Wicked Thoughts (Sai Gaddam)- One of the nonfiction books I read this summer. Experiments on human sexuality based on the internet. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this one. There are quite a few assumptions on sexuality that make me go ‘ehhhh’ (Girls don’t like to watch porn. What about the girls that do?)
  • Elfsorrow (James Barclay) The Chronicles of the Raven. A review told me that they lost track of the body-count by page 10. Great for fans of RA Salvatore. I hate elves and mages, but for some reason I keep reading about them.
  • Given up for Dead (Flint Whitlock)- A book-shelf raid from a close friend. Told me a whole part of WWII I didn’t know about. Short, personal, and descriptive.
  • Retail therapy (Amanda Ford)- Library book picked up on a whim. It’s rare I say a book is useless, but I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone.
  • The Catcher in the Rye (JD Salinger)- It seems like everyone in the word, except for me, has read what’s considered the first YA novel. Finished this one instead of sleeping. enjoyed it.
  • Lament (Maggie Stiefvater)- Read the sequal first. Stiefvater has got to be one of my favorite authors. Faeries, and with none of the glitter.
  • Forever (Maggie Stiefvater) I’ve been waiting for this book since I finished Shiver. The perfect ending to the trilogy. And guess what, Ms.Stiefvater? I didn’t cry.
  • Three Black Swans (Caroline B. Clooney)- one of the most boring books I’ve ever read. see how many times they drop the title.
  • Legacy of the Drow Collectors Edition (RA Salvatore)- 4 books in one “slender” book. Finished this in a weekend. How I missed high fantasy and Cattie-brie being a badass.
  • The Silent Blade (RA Salvatore)- Look what Legacy of the Drow made me buy? The series I was missing. Did not disapoint.
  • The Spine of the world (RA Slavatore)- Me Wulfgar. Me drink. Me Smash. Not my favorite, but its Salvatore so it didn’t kill me.
  • Sea of Swords (RA Salvatore)- Lesbian pirates and the reunion of the Companions of the Hall.
  • Bird Flu: Everything you need to know about the next pandemic. (Marc Seigal)- A very repetitive book telling me not to panic and drink lots of fluids, oh and to beware of SWINE FLU! Nonfiction book number two for the summer.
  • Pox Americanna: (Elizabeth a.fenn)- While I love history, I’ve never been great at linking events together. The small pox epidemic was mentioned in a footnote in my history books. This helped fill the void I was missing and put everything in perspective. Nonfiction #3
  • The Automatic Second Date (Victoria Rodgers) If you have money and goodlooks, it’s easy to get a guy. If you don’t have goodlooks, its still easy to get a guy if you have money. Actually it was pretty insightful. I know several girls I could recommend this to. Nonfiction #4

The Nymphos of Rocky Flats ( Mario Acevedo)- A Birthday present from my best-friend. Surprisingly, there was pretty much zero sex in here, but lots of aliens.

  • What to do if a bird flies into the House (Elizabeth Nix)- I’m a sucker for useless knowledge books. Because of this, I learned how to set a formal dinner setting, help jump-start my car when it died (a week after reading this book!) and crack open oysters (even if I don’t eat them). Presented in a way so the advice sticks.
  • Writing for Children and Teenagers (Lee Wyndham)- This book assumes all teenagers are 12. Not terrible, but I’ve come across better writing guides. Felt a bit…dated. Nonfiction #5.
  • Sacrifice of the Widow (Lisa Smedmen)- D&D, Drows. Spiders. another birthday present from a friend who knows me.

Favorite Book this Summer:

YA: Forever (Maggie Stiefvater)
Adult: Legacy of the Drow Collector’s Edition (RA Salvatore)

Least Favorite Book this Summer:

YA: Zombie Blondes (Brian James)
Adult: Retail Therapy (Amanda Ford)

For the rest of my Goodreads reading Challenge, follow the link


Yes, summer is over. If you live in an area where the leaves change, you know it’s been over for a while. I would have had this blog updated ages ago, but I’ve had minor crisis after minor crisis. None the less, the laptop is back on my desk, I’m done working 13-hour-weekends, and I’ll be wearing contacts again shortly.

So, you might ask, “ReD, with all the free time you had this summer, did you finish your novel?”

And the answer is, “oh hell no.”

There’s definitely something inspiring about being unable to work on a novel. When I had seven hours of homework a night, I wouldn’t care about iambic pentameter or persuasive speeches. I would care about how much my plot sucked and how badly I wanted to finish the next chapter. I’d have a great idea on how I could put my protagonist in a sticky situation and minimize my 10-page essay to do a quick paragraph. And you know what? As much as I hated it, I loved it.

This summer I did have free time. Sister was able to take on some of the chores. No homework. Staying up late. Zero inspiration to write a story. I did work on it a little bit, but when my critique partner reminded me that it’s been over a month since I sent her the chapter I wrote, I knew I was slacking.

I had too much freedom. For roughly eighty-days, I wasn’t involved in the real world. Sure, I set up my own bank-account and took out student loans. I got a job and bought my first car. Very real world stuff, but I didn’t have responsibilities. I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, to an extent. I read books. I saw movies. I visited friends. I learned how to play airsoft.¬† So, there was no reason for me to write a novel.

Now, with a long school days, longer work days, and finding myself scheduling sleep again, I’m back to the real world.

And back to putting real work into my novel.