Saturday, November 30, 2013

November Recap

Holy cow, only one month left in 2013! November flew by for me, but it was notable for a few reasons:

  • I finished NaNoWriMo! That's 50,000 words in one month. (In case you were curious, the Hunger Games books are about 101,000 words. I'm not saying my story was half as good as Hunger Games, just half as long)

  • We hosted Thanksgiving in our new house! And it went great.

Those things combined for not much reading this month. But I got to a couple things:

Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young. Fun, choose your own adventure-style book. A lot like Pivot Point.

The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman. Cute middle grad story about a boy who feels?/is? invisible and his adventurous friends.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I didn't read all of it, but I'm calling it done. It was an interesting end to the series, but there were some things I felt were left unsettled.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and The Treasure Map of Boys (Ruby Oliver #3) by e. lockhart. Basically, two of my favorite contemporary romances.

For December:

I'm hoping to read things that are the opposite of contemporary romance for the month! Maybe some fantasy or paranormal for awhile. I just got Defy by Sara Larsen off of NetGalley, so we'll see how that goes.

What are your plans for December?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Giving Thanks

Today's Top Ten Tuesday post is all about what we're thankful for! Join at The Broke and The Bookish!

1. My husband
We're celebrating our 7th anniversary in a few weeks.

2. Our kiddos

3. Our house
We just bought it this year.

4. Books! And book blogging & blogging friends.
Reading is one of my most favorite hobbies. And I've been so lucky to make such great friends!
from the first blogger social I went to

5. Libraries
Because I could never afford all the books I want to read.

6. Music
It can put me in a good mood faster than anything else

7. Allergen-free foods
We have some food issues in my family. It's nice to have gluten-free bread at our regular store.

8. Drinkable tap water
I lived in a country where you couldn't drink the water. I had to brush my teeth with bottled water. (even to get the toothbrush wet. It was an adjustment)
Bolivian flag

9. Teaching the 3 year olds at church
they are hilarious. And wild. But mostly hilarious

10. NaNoWriMo
for giving me the chance to do something with an idea I've had for a while.

What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 22, 2013

What I've Been Up To

You guys, I feel this overwhelming need to make a blog post, even though I don't really have anything bookish to talk about. So, here's a nice smorgasbord of all things Kathy for your Friday.

  • I'll actually have a couple book reviews coming up next week. Or the week after. We'll see. But I read The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman and Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young. Spoiler alert: they were both good.

  • Nano Nano Nano. It's the thing I do most lately. It's fun. It's tiring. I love it. But it's been bad for my house. I found some stinky pinto beans in my fridge yesterday that I swear I just put in there the other day. Back around Halloween.

  • I've gotten to research the most random things, like the DeKalb High School Spanish club Facebook page, whether St. Mary's offers Christmas Eve Spanish mass (nope), and whether guys normally wear shirts underneath a button-down (it depends). And so many pranks. So. many. pranks. Now is probably not the time to mess with me. I have learned a lot.

  • I hear the Catching Fire movie is good! I'm getting more optimistic about it.
  • I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year! We'll have 11 adults, 1 teenage boy, and 11 kids 12 and under. One of which has allergies. (At least that one's mine) I haven't even had time to freak out about it yet. Maybe when Nano is over... :)

What's new with all you guys? I feel so out of the loop these days.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Redesigns

The Broke and The Bookish hosts Top Ten Tuesday. Play along! Today's topic is all about cover redesigns.

Books I wish would be redesigned:

Who would not be embarrassed to read this in public?

You know those ink blots where you have to guess what the picture's supposed to be? I didn't even see the two awkward kissing people at the top for the longest time.

I actually really like the idea of these covers, but the breaking glass and her foot look like photoshop disasters. Also, how does she change clothes in the bubbles?

Books that got redesigned and I like the original better:

Originals on the left. Redesigns on the right.

The Diviners by Libba Bray  

Lola and the Boy Next Door


How about you? Do you like the new designs for those covers? Which books would you like to see redone?

Monday, November 11, 2013

How NaNo is Going

In my last post I mentioned that I'm giving NaNoWriMo a try this year. I've been inspired by Suey's posts on how her project is going, so here's an update on mine. Because I'm sure everyone is so curious. (Not really)

So, a few things:
  1. I'm writing a YA contemporary romance about a girl who's been living abroad with her parents and just moved back to the US for her senior year. There's embarrassment, some angst, a rivalry between foreign language clubs, and a little kissing. Assuming I can write it.
  2. I was really embarrassed by my writing the first couple days, (because it is not good) until I forced myself to read some of it to my husband. 
  3. But not the kissing scene. I tried to read that and we were both laughing so uncomfortably hard  I had to stop.
  4. But! Having someone else read it has helped a lot. Rusty has good suggestions. I was completely stuck at one point and he had some good ideas about what should happen next. 
  5. It might have been vomiting. Which is why I didn't come up with it on my own.
  6. I'm having so much more fun than I expected. I alternate between thinking "This is a great story and I should try to do something with it!" and "Wow, this is the worst crap ever written and even the self-publishers would reject it." Somehow it's all still very enjoyable.
  7. I think about my little Sara & Davis all. the. time. It's crazy. I was in the middle of teaching Sunbeams (the 3 and 4 year olds) at church yesterday when I had a thought about plot. And it was a good thought, too. (Possibly? See #6)
So that's what I've been up to for the last 18,000 words. I have the best intentions of still reading books and blogging about them this month, but we'll see how it goes. For now I'm just enjoying taking a crack at writing.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

October Recap

October was not the best reading month. Good thing I never recapped my September reading so it will look better than it actually was!

In October I had two DNF books, but I finished:

The Distance Between Us by Kassie West
Cute contemporary twist on poor girl meets rich boy.

Just Ella by Annette Larsen
Light, fun romance.

The Diviners by Libba Bray
Creepy 20's murder mystery that was good but so freaking long.

In September I read:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My favorite read of 2013.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
A tough, but riveting book about a boy who takes a gun to school with plans to shoot his former best friend and then himself.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
It's as good as everyone says it is.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Middle grade about a sad gorilla. The story was just ok for me but the pictures were amazing.

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
Even better than Edenbrooke!

Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike
Start of a new time-traveling fantasy series that isn't quite as good as her others.

Favorites were:
Blackmoore, The Book Thief, and Fangirl. You can't go wrong with any of those!

For November I probably won't be around a ton. I'm giving NaNoWriMo a try. It's scary and exciting and makes me realize I overuse so many words! You can see what I'm working on here, if you're curious.

What are you doing this November?