Sunday, April 21, 2024

Weekly Goals 22-4-24

 Not a lot of change to my goals this week from what they have been the last couple of weeks.  Try and get a few more queries sent out for Guide Us and try to find a few safe minutes to write something.  Anything.  Flash fiction, poetry, short story...

Not sure how I'll get on with any of that, but we'll give it a shot.  If I don't get the extra job, then I'll have some time over the four-day weekend for writing work,  But if I do get the gig, then I'll have to do that instead.  As much as I hate to say it, at this point, a paying gig is more important than my own writing which earns me about enough for a cup of coffee each quarter.

What are your goals this week? 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Celebrate the Small Things 19-4-24

It's the end of the week, so it's time to Celebrate the Small Things...

What am I celebrating this week?

It's the weekend!

It has felt like a very long week this week, so I'm looking forward to having a weekend.  Fingers crossed there is no drama this week and I can actually focus on the things I need and want to do.  Like going up the coast to see my friend and maybe getting a few more queries sent out.  I've had one more rejection this week, from one of the very first queries I sent out.  Some of these agents take a long time to respond!

I may have picked up a little extra gig doing some funding assessments - not exactly the most fun job in the world, but at this stage, some extra money won't go amiss, so I'm prepared to sacrifice some of my time.  I have a four-day weekend next week because Thursday is ANZAC Day and I've taken Friday off too, so if I get selected for a panel, I'll try and get through the bulk of the applications over those four days.  I've applied for this fund in the past, so I know what the applications are like and don't think each one will take more than 45 minutes maximum to get through.  I hope, anyway...

And that's about it for me.  What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Books I've Read: Alondra

I wouldn't call myself a wrestling fan, but something about the description of this book made me pick it up at the library the other day.  Maybe because you just don't often see stories about girls wanting to wrestle.  I think the setting also had something to do with the appeal.

Alonda is seventeen and it's summer.  It's hot.  Every day outside her apartment window she hears a trio of kids wresting in the park and longs to join them; she's a massive wrestling fan.  After covertly watching them for a while, she decides to talk to them and ask to join.  They need a fourth to even up the numbers so it just makes sense.  But Alondra is painfully shy and walks past time and time again without managing to say a word.

When she finally works up the courage to speak, the trio are not initially impressed, but Alonda sticks with it and shows them what she can do.  That impresses them enough to ask her to join them and before long Alondra is tightly enmeshed into their group.  She starts dating King, the self-proclaimed leader of the group, but she can't help looking at Lexi, her excitement growing each time they connect in the ring.

Over the course of the long, hot summer, this group of friends will wresting with each other in the ring and with their feelings out of it.

I enjoyed this book.  All the characters were well drawn and distinct and had their own lives, separate from Alonda's.  And as Alonda's confidence in herself grew, as she became more comfortable with herself and her understanding of her bisexuality, she became a way more interesting character.

I liked that the book didn't solely focus on Alonda and her understanding of herself, but showed realistically how someone's life can be made up of multiple parts and problems.  Alonda's home life with her guardian Teresa was shown as well and given as much weight as any other part of the story.

Throughout the wresting season the group develop, Alonda is searching for the perfect character, and when she comes up with it, it makes perfect sense.

This was a quick, easy read - I read the whole thing while I was waiting for the electrician to reconnect the power at my house on Sunday.  I'd recommend it, even if you're not into wresting.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

A contemporary YA debut from award-winning playwright Gina Femia, Alondra is a coming-of-age story of friendship and romance, about a bisexual teen girl and her friends wrestling their way through the summer--sometimes on the playgrounds of Coney Island, sometimes with their feelings and at home.

Sixteen-year-old Alonda loves professional wrestling. So when she meets a group of teens with aspirations of wrestling fame in her Coney Island neighborhood, she couldn’t be happier. So as the ragtag team works to put on a show to remember, Alonda sheds her old self behind and becomes Alondra ―the Fearless One. But with her conflicting feelings for King, the handsome leader of their group, and Lexi, the girl with the beautiful smile, Alonda has to ask herself: can she be as fearless outside of the ring as she is inside it?

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Weekly Goals 15-4-24

 I had a rather frustrating weekend in which I didn't manage to get anything much done, and almost all my plans went out the window after our power suddenly went out on Saturday night.  And can you get hold of anyone at the power company, the lines company or any electricians on a Saturday night?  No...

So  after spending a Saturday night in the dark, all my Sunday plans went out the window while I tried to get the power back on.  It is now, but it took all day and the bill is enough to give anyone a heart attack. 

Long story short, I didn't get any writing work done over the weekend.  Again.

So my goal this week is to get back to querying Guide Us, and making a bit of a plan for what I'm going to work on next.  I have a 4-day weekend coming up, and that would be the perfect time to kickstart something new.

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Celebrate the Small Things 12-4-24


It's the end of the week, so it's time to Celebrate the Small Things...

What am I celebrating this week?

It's the weekend!

I have a few things planned this week, mainly catching up with friends which I'm looking forward to.  

I got some feedback on my query package from a professional, and they think it's great, so I guess I have to get back to querying.  I haven't had any more rejections this week, but neither have I had any requests.  No news is good news, they say...

And that's about it for celebrating this week.  What's been going on for you?

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Books I've Read: Ryan and Avery

I picked this up at the library because the cover was cute and I've enjoyed some of David Leviathan's other books.  It wasn't a huge story and I probably will have forgotten most of it in a week or two, but it was a quick, fun read over the weekend.

Told out of sequence, the book follows Ryan and Avery who met at a queer prom through their first ten dates.  The two boys live in different towns, a few hours apart, which adds another layer of complication to their relationship.  There's also the fact Ryan's parents are really nt okay with him being queer and do not encourage the relationship at all.

In contrast, Avery's parents are very accepting, and welcome Ryan into their home whenever he wants to be there.

Over the course of these ten dates the boys learn about each other, their families and how to be a couple as they juggle school, friendships, cast parties, jobs and the other minutae of daily life.

I didn't;t love the book, but it was a pleasant way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon on my deck.  It's light for the most part, but does have some serious moments, particularly around Ryan's relationship with his family.  Luckily he has a very caring and open aunt who he can rely on even when his parents are being ridiculous.

It's not my favourite book by this author, but it has all the things that make David's books his.

So I'd recommend it, I'm just not screaming about it from the rooftops.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

From the New York Times bestselling author of EVERY DAY, this is a queer love story for the ages--told over the course of a couple's first ten dates.

When a blue-haired boy (Ryan) meets a pink-haired boy (Avery) at a dance--a queer prom--both feel an inexplicable but powerful connection. Follow them through their first ten dates as they bridge their initial shyness and fall in love--through snowstorms, groundings, meeting parents (Avery's) and not (Ryan's), cast parties, heartbreak, and every day and date in between.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Celebrate the Small Things 5-4-24


It's the end of the week, so it's time to Celebrate the Small Things...

What am I celebrating this week?

I know it was a short week, but I'm still glad it's the weekend.  I don't have a lot planned, so looking forward to doing some reading and writing.  I've been a little obsessed over the last few weeks with a really old story I wrote - one of the first novels I ever finished.  I'm really not sure if there is anything I can salvage from it, but the characters keep whispering to me and I'm wondering if there is something there I can work with.  

It's a book that never really worked because it spans two time periods - the present where the MC is in her first year of college, and the past where she's 10.  So it's not really YA, not really MG, not really adult... I'm wondering about losing the college storyline and approaching the story from the past from the POV of one of the other characters who is a teenager.  I've read a few books where the narrator of the story is not the MC, but someone else who observes that character's journey and I'm thinking that might be something to play around with.

Maybe I'm just having all the feels from having read Bridge of Clay again....  What a book that is.  I knew I loved it when I read it a few year back, but I think I've loved it even more the second time around.

Also celebrating having sent out a new batch of Guide Us queries - only one rejection so far...

What are you celebrating this week?