Friday, August 28, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things 28-8-15

This post is part of  Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things (Lexa has just taken it over from VikLit who has hosted it for the last 2 years). Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

It's been a frustrating week.  I'm trying desperately to finish my book by Monday night, but somehow the world seems to be conspiring against me finishing.  It's hard to write a book when every bit of spare time seems to be taken up with something other than writing.  Plus, my characters are quite stubbornly not doing what I need them to do.  So right now I'm celebrating having two free nights to try and wrangle them toward the end of the book.

That and wine….  I really need that wine by this time in the week.

Luckily I have quite a free weekend this week.  A couple of scripts to read, swimming lessons for the kids, housework and, I hope, a whole lot of writing. Oh, and dinner and a movie with a colleague on Sunday night.  I'm looking forward to a little relaxation since the last couple of weeks at work have been pretty chaotic, and from Tuesday, I can expect more of the chaos.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Books I've Loved: White Oleander

This is a gorgeous book.  The writing is so beautiful, it's easy to get lost and drown in the sentences.  But unlike so many other really beautifully written stories that get so wrapped up in the beauty of the language they forget to tell a story, this one also has a plot and compelling characters.

Astrid is a relatable MC.  She adores her mother, Ingrid,  in a way that's almost obsessive despite her mother's seeming lack of interest in anything other than herself and her needs and desires.  When a relationship sours and Ingrid winds up behind bars for murder, Astrid finds herself in the foster care system.

Every new home is different and has its own challenges.  Astrid has to figure out ways to cope with each one, who to be to survive each new family.  The person she grows up to be takes pieces of each of theses selves to patch together a whole and entirely independent person.

If you don't believe me, here's the blurb…

Everywhere hailed as a novel of rare beauty and power, White Oleander tells the unforgettable story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder, and her daughter, Astrid, whose odyssey through a series of Los Angeles foster homes-each its own universe, with its own laws, its own dangers, its own hard lessons to be learned-becomes a redeeming and surprising journey of self-discovery.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Weekly Goals 24-8-15

I am going to finish this damn draft this week.

Repeat after me.  I am going to finish this damn draft this week.

I've been so close for so long, but somehow I haven't got there.  Damn characters keep doing things on their own.

But I will finish this week, even if it means having to miss out on something else I want to do.  By Sunday, I will be done.

That's all….

Friday, August 21, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things 21-8-15

This post is part of  Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things (Lexa has just taken it over from VikLit who has hosted it for the last 2 years). Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

The weekend!

It's been a crazy week and I'm pretty exhausted.  I've barely had a chance to write, which is stressing me out a little because I'm supposed to be finishing this draft by the 31st, and I'm sure I'll make it.  I'll do my best, but my characters keep having other ideas

We're going to the beach tomorrow to catch up with a friend I haven't seen a few weeks.  The weather is supposed to be nice, so I'm looking forward to walking on the beach and having a nice day out of town.

It's my partner's 50th birthday on Monday so we have a big family lunch to go to on Sunday.  Somewhere in there I have to find time to bake a cake….

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Books I've Loved: Wintergirls

This is one I read a while ago, but it's stuck with me because it probably offers the most realistic portrayal of the thought  processes of anorexia I've ever read.  It's also gorgeously written with descriptions you just want to go back to and steal.

It's also a book about friendship and what happens to a friendship when it becomes competitive.  Competitive in an unhealthy and dangerous way that ends in tragedy. How do you come back from that?  Does the tragedy kick you in the pants to stop being self-destructive, or does it push you further into the pit?

Lia's journey shows her choice and the difficulty she has staying on the path.  Her thoughts are often painful, but they're honest and raw.

I've read a lot of books dealing with eating disorders, both fiction and non-fiction, and this has to be among the best I've read.

If you don't believe me, here's the blurb:

“Dead girl walking”, the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret”, the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.

Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Weekly Goals 17-8-15

Nothing dramatic or new this week.  I just want to finish my book.  I'm close, but not close enough, especially when characters go and do things I wasn't anticipating them doing!  But I think by the end of the week I should be in good shape to finish this draft by the end of the month.

At least I hope so.

My work started a quiz team recently, and I'm on it.  Last week was our first outing and we came 4th out of 19 teams.  This week we hope to do even better.

And that's about it for goals this week.  Nothing big or exciting.  Just business as usual.

What are your goals this week?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things 14-8-15

This post is part of  Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things (Lexa has just taken it over from VikLit who has hosted it for the last 2 years). Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

I'm getting closer and closer to the end of my book.  Things are not going the way I expected them to, but they are going.  I've crept over the 60K mark and figure I'll be done within another 10 days or so.  Yay!  It's a pretty dire, first drafty piece of garbage, but at least I'll have something to come back to when I've finished revising my other book.  Not to mention the other story idea I have hanging out in my head that I'm excited about.  It's chance to use some characters I love from an older book that never worked out and bring them into a new story that I hope will give them a chance to shine.

I discovered I've been doing my taxes wrong for years and got the last few years reassessed, resulting in a nice little bit of money being deposited into my bank account so I went on a little online shopping spree….  I love knowing I have packages in the mail. It makes coming home each night that much more exciting! 

I have a busy weekend ahead of me after a busy week.  I'm wondering if I'll have time to get everything I need to do, done.  But I am going to get my hair cut which is long overdue and much needed.  My parents just got back from a trip to South America and I'm looking forward to seeing some photos from the Galapagos Islands and hearing about their adventures rafting down the Amazon.

What are you celebrating this week?