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Friday, January 31, 2014

January Check-In

I've decided, in order to hold myself accountable for my New Year's goals for once, to post monthly check-ins on how things are going.

Writing
Word count: 7,530
My goal for writing isn't any particular word count, but just to keep track of how much I write each day. I did okay with that this month, there may be some short days that I forgot to record. I didn't do a lot of writing, mostly because of revisions, but I did count revised scenes that were new or almost entirely rewritten.

Reading
Read: 3
I'm hoping to step this number up quickly as the year goes on. Only two of them were published: House of Hades by Rick Riordan, and Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. My favorite of the month was hands-down House of Hades.

Running
Miles: 0
My intention was to take advantage of my mornings off three days a week and take some time on the treadmill. Unfortunately for that within the first week I made a commitment to work in a grad student's lab during those mornings.

Movies
Watched: 1
This isn't technically true but all the other movies I watched this month were rewatches so I'm not counting those. My roommates and I watched Madeline, which is a very cute classic and I'm not sure how I haven't seen it before.

Things I've Never Done: 
I started throwing this into my to do list last year in the hopes that I could keep trying new things and so far it seems to be working. My list is now up to one with "Running lab trials alone."

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: January 29

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch.

What I'm Reading: 
Still working on Rose Under Fire. It's not a light book by any means, but then I wouldn't expect anything less. I did finish Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It's a novella, a hundred and twenty pages, and a fast read. It's a curious story with a rather sudden ending, but not in an unsatisfying way. There are a few threads left hanging and I can't help but keep wondering at them.

What I'm Writing: 
Nothing this week, not even revisions. I'm so busy with class and work that I've taken this week off revisions. I'll have more time next week to start up again. 

What Inspires Me: 
Days off. It's been bitterly cold the past few days, so much so that classes have been cancelled.  Today it's twenty degrees and it feels fantastic. I don't know how I would have gotten all my work done if I'd also had class to contend with so the time to just settle in front of my desk with a cup of hot chocolate and just work was nice.

What Else I've Been Up To: 
Too cold to be up to much of anything. The Fault in Our Stars trailer was released today and I am not ashamed to admit that I watched it in the hall between classes and teared up. It may not be my favorite of John Green's book, but I can't wait to see this movie.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: January 22

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch.

What I'm Reading: 
I'm still working my way through Rose Under Fire. My time is kind of limited because I'm trying to avoid reading it in public places. I've also started Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez for a class on Caribbean literature. It's a very short read and quick.

What I'm Writing: 
I'm past the halfway point with Weredragon's revisions and into the more major changes. Progress is slow but steady and that's the important thing. I'm definitely hoping to be done before February.

What Inspires Me: 
The bustle of people. I have a couple hours between classes and I like to spend them sitting in the student lounge. The background noise and lack of distractions help me to get a lot done. Or at least that's what I intend to happen. People-watching is one of my favorite past times at moments like this.

What Else I've Been Up To: 
Trying to weather this second cold front. I didn't have class until the afternoon yesterday and it looked nice and sunny outside. I'd checked the forecast the night before and heard down to -25 wind chill so I bundled up anyway. Stepped outside and thought, "This isn't so bad." Not even halfway to class and my face was so cold it was starting to burn. I am currently very thankful for scarves. Stay safe everyone being pounded with snow and/or cold temperatures!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: January 15

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch. I let it slip away for a while because first I was too busy with classes and then I was on break and not doing anything interesting. But now I'm back!

What I'm Reading: 
I just finished House of Hades by Rick Riordan and loved it. Fantastic fourth installment to the Heroes of Olympus series. I'm definitely ready for October to arrive with the last book, Blood of Olympus. Last night I started Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein and I'm really excited for it. Code Name Verity is one of my favorite books of all-time so I'm all over a companion novel. 

What I'm Writing: 
Nothing yet. I'm neck-deep in partially rewriting my WIP that I refer to as Weredragon. I'm making some minor changes to the first half and some pretty major ones to the second half, but I'm excited about the new direction. I'm also playing with some new ideas in my head for my next WIP but I haven't settled on anything yet.

What Inspires Me: 
The new year. I know it's going to be a rough one already, but I like the promise of a new year. All the potential for new experiences and memories and chances to really make a change. I'm already behind on my resolutions but that doesn't mean I can't get caught up.

What Else I've Been Up To: 
A new semester of classes has started so there's that. It's going to be a busy one, but I'm looking forward to it. I'm finally past most of the liberal arts credits so now I'm into classes that I need for my major and minor. It's very exciting. After being home for Christmas for a month it's nice to get back into a routine.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Most Anticipated Releases of 2014

A lot of awesome-sounding books coming out this year (including the conclusion of The Mortal Instruments, City of Heavenly Fire and the conclusion of Heroes of Olympus, Blood of Olympus). Here are a few of the ones I'm looking forward to the most.

Pointe by Brandy Colbert
Theo is better now.

She's eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.

Donovan isn't talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn't do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she's been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.



Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
Companion novel to Wolves of Mercy Falls 
Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved? 

Cole was always my favorite character of the trilogy so I can't wait to actually get to see him in his own story. 

The Falconer by Elizabeth May
First book in The Falconer
Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

What books are you most looking forward to coming out this year?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Resolutions

It's that time of year again. Time for me to make resolutions that I forget about until my review post at the end of the year. Though this time they're closer to goals and those tend to be pretty well. Except for the reading ones, which I'm notoriously bad at.

Keep track of my daily word count 
I used to have an Excel sheet that I used to keep track of how many words I wrote per day and then it would show me the sums by week and month and year. I got out of the habit of keeping records after a while but this year I would like to start back up again.

Read 100 books
I know I say this every year, but I'm determined to do it this year. Last year was my worst reading year since I started keeping records and I'd like to make up for that.

Go for a run every morning three days a week
Wouldn't be New Year's resolutions if I didn't throw in some sort of exercise resolution that I, quite honestly, probably won't even start.  

Watch 50 movies 
These are movies that I haven't seen before. It's only about one movie a week and I'd like to finally put a dent in my movie list that just keeps growing and growing.

Do five things I've never done before
I've set this as my goal each year for the past two years and accomplished it both times. It could be things that I've been afraid to do or things that are simple but I've just never done.