Happy New Year!

It seemed like it would never get here, but holy smokes, here it is! 2018! We made it!

As is my custom, I like to try and look at the goals I set for this year and see how I did. This year was a little rocky (to say the least), but I did manage to get at least some reading done. Let’s take a peek and see how it went.

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My goal was to read 50 books for the year on GoodReads. I fell . . . pretty short of that, but not too bad. I made it to 32. A definite reading slump towards the end of the year, but for a good reason, not a bad one. I got to do several wonderful theater shows this year, which were great experiences, but unfortunately cuts way into my reading time. Since I will be starting 2018 off with rehearsals and hope to do more than just one show this year, I’ll have to see what I can do to make time for my reading. But here is the list of books I did get to:

  1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  3. The Plantation by Stella Samiotou Fitzsimons
  4. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
  5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  6. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  7. The Circle by Dave Eggers
  8. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
  10. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  11. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  12. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  13. Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
  14. Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep
  15. Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep
  16. Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep
  17. Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep
  18. Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep
  19. Dollhouse by Anya Allyn
  20. Paper Dolls by Anya Allyn
  21. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  22. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  23. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
  24. Polgara the Sorceress by David Eddings
  25. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
  26. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  27. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  28. Armada by Ernest Cline
  29. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
  30. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  31. Marionette by Anya Allyn
  32. Music Box by Anya Allyn

Which brings me to my next goal:

I have a bad habit of starting series and then just not finishing them. Usually it’s not because the first books are bad, but I have a very bad book attention span. I see the next shiny new thing and off I go! I have a list of series that I have started and not finished (see my 2018 Reading Challenge tab for the current list), but I did manage to finish some this year. I wanted to knock out five, but only managed to finish three:

  1. Dollhouse series by Anya Allyn – COMPLETED!!
  2. The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo – COMPLETED!!
  3. Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep – COMPLETED!!!

I had also set the goal to finish all new series started during the year. I didn’t do that, but there is only one new series to add to the list – The Plantation series by Stella Samiotou-Fitzsimons.

New goals for 2018!

I have set my GoodReads goal at 35 for this year, since I have been slowing down as of late. I will up the goal if it seems too easy, depending on how the year starts. I think I will keep my Complete the Series goal the same – complete five off the list and then finish any new ones I start. I probably won’t get there, but it’s worth a shot.

I’m also going to try and keep blogging more, at least three times per week. Maybe more if I can get my act together. I’ve missed it terribly, but it’s always so hard to find time these days.

Setting any exciting reading goals for 2018?

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YALLFest 2017!

Whoohoo!! YALLFest!! It was so good to be back!!

For anyone who doesn’t know or hasn’t gone, YALLFest is a young adult book festival that takes place in November in Charleston, SC. Dozens of authors come and do book signings and panels about writing. It is quite simply the best. I had missed it last year, so I was extra excited to be back there again.

I also got to hang out with my good friend Jess (who some of you may remember from my Bibliophiles Anonymous days) and her cousin Tabi. They are both awesome people and a lot of fun. It was also nice to be able to bring my daughter, who is now 13 years old if you can believe it.

This year was cool because it was the first year that Cassandra Clare was an attendee! I have loved her since The Mortal Instruments and it was really awesome to get to meet her and get her latest book signed.

My favorite part of YALLFest is the panels. I love hearing authors talk about their craft and see how even though they are successful and have tons of fans, they still struggle to write and get the right words on the page. Makes me feel like I might actually be able to do it one day. Maybe. Hopefully.

Hands down, Margaret Stohl and Leigh Bardugo are my favorites to try and catch at a panel. They are both hilarious and just so much fun.

Charleston was cold and windy, but we had a blast. Can’t wait to go back next year. The best thing about it was that it inspired me to try and get back into writing again. It’s a little late to jump into NaNoWriMo this year, but I do have two manuscripts that I should work on, one of which is a completed first draft. The other was my NaNoWriMo project from several years ago that I actually won NaNo, made it to my 50,000 words, and haven’t looked at it since. So lots of material to play with. I’ll let you guys know how it goes, if I can get motivated again now that I’m home.

If you ever get a chance, do check out YALLFest. Almost everything at the festival is free – the panels, the signings. A handful of events are ticketed, but the tickets are relatively cheap, especially given what you get out of it. Anyone who loves books would have a blast.

 

Clearing the cobwebs . . .

“Hello? Anyone here?”

Man, this blog is awfully dusty. I’ve been gone far too long.

Hey everybody! After several months worth of theater shows, work craziness, and just general life, I am finally getting back around to blogging again! I’ve missed it, let me tell you. It will probably take me a while to get back in the swing of things, so please be patient. On top of being busy, I’ve had major reading and writing slumps – not the best thing to happen to a book blogger. Luckily, I just got back from this year’s YALLFest, and there’s nothing better to get you back into the wonderful world of books. I’ll do a more comprehensive post on that later. For right now, I’m just here to say hello, and that  I am hopefully back. 

Does my life have a plot yet? Not really. Will it ever? Probably not. That’s not my style. I’m more a “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” kind of girl. So far it hasn’t failed me yet. I’m still going. 

Back and ready to blog!

Greetings everyone! I am back after my week off. Sometimes you really need to detox from all the craziness that is the Internet and social media. I wasn’t completely offline, but I kept away from the negativity as much as I could. Unfortunately, there is a LOT of negativity out there right now.

I will try to keep the negativity off the blog though. Because I need somewhere that is tension free.

So here’s the plan. There are several things I’ve been wanting to do here for a while. I want to keep up with book reviews, naturally, but I also want to incorporate some short stories as well. There will also be the usual community memes, because they’re fun. Another thing that I’ve wanted to do, have tried to do in the past, but not been able to get it together, is do chapter-by-chapter analysis reviews. I’ve been trying to decide what books I want to do this with. At first, I wanted to go back and re-read Harry Potter, since there is a lot of material there to go through, but I also wanted to do something a bit more recent. So I came up with a compromise. The first book I will do will be Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This is the script from the play that was produced in London, which is a sequel to the original series. After that, I’ll do the original series. I also have the script for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a movie I actually didn’t see (I’m such a bad HP nerd!!). I have heard that the script adds even more to the experience, so I’m looking forward to reading it.

In any case, check out the blog going forward for every kind of bookish nerdiness I can think of throwing at you. Enjoy!

Taking a break . . .

Staying off social media for a while, at least the next few days, to try and avoid some of the nastiness that is sure to be going around in regards to the presidential inauguration. I’m not going to get political here, mostly because both sides of the argument are spewing a bunch of garbage and hatred and I really can’t deal with it right now. My social anxiety has been going through the roof lately, and that is caused by social media as well, not just with dealing with people face to face.

In any case, I know I had said that I would blog every day in January, and I’ve done pretty well so far – I only missed one day. I’m going to change that goal in light of all this and come back to the blog on January 30th with some new things I have planned.

See you then!

Let your geek flag fly . . .

Today has been a pretty low key day, but hey, it’s the weekend, right? I’ve spent most of my time sitting and working on another crochet project while watching Critical Role on Geek & Sundry. It’s a web based show about a group of people who play Dungeons & Dragons. What’s fun is that all of them are voice actors who has lent their voices to various animated projects and video games, so they can really be creative in making their characters sound really cool.

I’ve always loved role playing games, although I haven’t had much chances to really play them. I love that they are a combination of game play and story telling which is guaranteed to be completely different every time. Plus, I really, really love collecting dice.

Just a few of my dice.


One of these days, if time and social anxiety allows, I will find a D&D group somewhere local and join in. It would be really fun.

Giggles and snow . . . 

It has been a very loud weekend here at the homestead. The girl child, who is twelve, has decided she wants to be social, and since it was going to be a snowy time, she asked to have not one, but two friends spend the night. So three middle school girls, plus the boy child.

It was very loud. Lots of giggling, some arguing. 

That was Friday night. Then Saturday came around. Another friend turned up to play in the snow. One of the girls went home, the other asked to stay another night. Then the girl who came over Saturday was invited to spend the night. So we still had a houseful of kids, just a slightly different composition.

We are finally back down to one kid – all the guests went home and the boy went back to his mom’s. It is finally quiet.

The cat is most appreciative.