Sunday, September 30, 2018

Weekly Goals 1-10-18

After another week of not writing, my goal this week is to write.  Even if it's just a few thousand words.  I'm too close to finishing this new book to stop now, even if said book is kind of a mess.  It's never going to be not a mess if I don't finish writing it.

The kids are on holiday for the next two weeks, so I'm planning to take a day or two off work each week to hang out with them.  No plans for what we're going to do yet, but anything to keep them from playing on their devices all day...

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things: 28-9-18

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

What am I celebrating this week?

My mother-in-law's funeral was yesterday, so I'm celebrating her life.  It was a lovely event, with far more people attending than we had anticipated.  I think we all learned things about Pat we didn't know before.  It was the first funeral the kids ever attended, and I'm pleased they made it through.

It's also the last day of term for the kids, so they will be on holiday for two weeks after today.  I must do something about organizing some days off to spend with them, and find some things for them to do.  Otherwise my youngest will just play video games for two weeks straight.

One of my colleagues and a very good friend has just bought a house so I'm going to help her move some of her stuff over the weekend.

I've been very good at getting to the gym and have been three times already this week.

I have been very bad at writing this week and haven't done anything.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Books I've read: What If It's Us

Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli are two of my favourite writers.  I don't read the blurbs when I see a new book by either of them; just pick it up.  So when NetGalley offered me the chance to read this one in advance, I leaped at the chance.  Thanks NetGalley!

It's a dual POV book about two guys, Ben and Arthur, who meet by accident at the post office. Arthur is only in New York for the summer, and Ben lives there year round.  Arthur adores Broadway shows and believes in love even if he's never been in it.  Ben is more cynical, having just broken up with his first boyfriend.  Which was the reason he was in the post office to begin with - he was trying to return his ex's stuff.

The book follows Ben and Arthur through the rest of the summer as they meet, part, reunite and try again and again to make their first date perfect.  Then a second.  They are quite different people and even though they really like one another, their differences start to grate on each other.  Ben is always late, which irritates Arthur.  Arthur doesn't like arcade games which Ben loves.  Ben is in summer school while Arthur has been accpted at Yale.

While the pair struggle to figure out how to make their lives fit together despite their differences, both boys start to wonder if maybe the universe doesn't mean for them to be togther.  

But maybe it does...

I really enjoyed this book.  The meet-cute was adorable, and everything that came after was too.  I found myself reading with a grin on my face most of the way through.  Arthur and Ben are great characters and the supporting ones, especially Ben's bestie Dylan, are pitch perfect.

If I had one quibble, it would be that it was hard to distinguish the two different voices.  Even though this book was written by two authors and I imagine each wrote one POV, both boys sounded very similar, despite being distinctly different characters.  When I put the book down and came back to it, I often had to check to see whose POV I was in because it wasn't immediately apparent until one boy referenced another by name.

But overall, I loved this book.  Even the ending which I won't give away here.  Sometimes an ending can be happy even when it isn't the ending you expect.  This one felt very realistic which was refreshing in a romance.

So, I definitely recommend this one.

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

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Weekly Goals 24-9-18

Once again, I didn't get nearly as much writing done as I wanted to last week.  I do have an excuse, but that doesn't make it any better.  And this week feels like it might be a bit of a dud as far as writing goes too.  So much on!

I've also realized that while writing to prompts is great for inspiration at the beginning of a book, it's very hard to keep the story moving forward while trying to write to prompts one the story is set up.  I've written an awful lot of chapters that don't really help the story because the prompts asked me to.  On the plus side, some of these chapters can be moved to different points in the book, but mostly, I think a lot of them are going to get thrown on the scrap heap.

So this week I think I need to read throught what I already have and do some triage on the book before I keep writing.  I'm not usually a fan of editing while drafting, but I feel like if I don't do that now, I'm going to end up with 60K or more that go nowhere.  And once I've done that triage, I should be able to get back on track to finish the darn thing.

What are your goals this week?

Kissed Off by Tellulah Darling

Genre: YA romantic comedy/adventure

She’s hell-bent on revenge. He’s desperate for adventure. Now the only question is: does this count as a date?

Sixteen-year-old Reiko Mori’s family has clashed with the Markows in a clandestine search for the famed Lover’s Kiss Ruby, ever since their ancestors killed each other over it centuries ago in Japan. Now, after pulling off a successful museum heist, Reiko’s finally going to be the one who finds the jewel. Even better? She’s just arranged a study date with hot-but-sheltered sculptor Levi Green to work on their English project. Things are looking good. Until a mysterious third party attacks Reiko and Levi, intent on stealing her clues to the ruby. Until Reiko discovers the Lover’s Kiss is actually in Europe, an ocean away. And until goofy, affable Levi Green turns out to be Levi Markow, mortal enemy number one. Plan B it is: reluctantly team up with Levi to find the priceless gem before the shadowy and deadly group on the jewel’s trail finds it first. And if history is gonna repeat itself with the kissing, running, and screwing over, see which one of them comes out on top.


Barnes and Noble

 Read below for an excerpt from the book:
Levi rubbed his arm, his expression wary. “Reiko Mori, I presume.”
“‘I presume?’” Reiko dropped into a fighter’s crouch. “You’re missing the British accent.”
Levi put his hands up in a pathetic imitation of defensive position. Her cat could have landed a punch through those gaps. “And you’re missing the reality where we aren’t about to have an MMA showdown.”
Reiko smirked but lowered her hands. “Because I’d wipe the floor with your ass.”
“Says Hit-Girl masquerading as the resident shy chick all these years. Nice James Bond alter ego you got going on.”
“I am shy.” She grabbed a dishtowel and whipped it at his head. It fluttered to the counter, far short of its mark.
Levi snorted.
“Being around my sworn enemies tends to knock it out of me. Besides, you’re one to talk, Artsy Boy. Had everyone fooled.” Including stupid me. She pushed him backwards out of the kitchen, shoving him again and again until his back hit the wall next to the front door.
Levi fended off her next blow. The sweep of his arm knocking her hands away left behind a familiar faint hint of rubbing alcohol. She’d watched him use it to remove clay from his hands at school many times. Could she be more pathetically tuned into this guy?
Levi held out his hand, palm up. “Hand over the locket, sweetheart. The real one this time.”
Sweetheart?” She pulled herself up to her full height. “Could you be more stereotypical bad guy?”
“He could have a mustachio to twirl,” Aviva said, from her avid spectator spot hanging over the bannister.
“True,” Reiko said.
Levi rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m not the one blowing kisses before screwing people over. That a move passed down through the generations with you chicks? Think that adds weight to my family being the wronged party here, Mata Hari.”
“Mata…? Argh!” She snatched up the poker.
“Go ahead, brain me.” Levi turned out his pockets in a huff. “No ruby. Just lint. I’d hate you to pointlessly commit murder except, oh yeah. You Moris are bloodthirsty!”
“Better a bloodthirsty Mori than a cowardly, backstabbing Markow!” Reiko jabbed the poker at him.
Levi grabbed the other end, the two of them engaged in a furious tug-of-war for possession. He let go suddenly, sending Reiko staggering back a few steps
Reiko flung open the door and pointed outside. With the poker. “Get. Out.”
Levi held his ground for a minute but must have decided she meant business because he grabbed his shoes. “This isn’t over.”
“You’ll get the locket over my dead body, Lion Cub.”
“Great! Can’t wait to pry it out of your cold, rigor-mortised hands,” he snapped, and stomped out of the house, slamming the door behind him.
“Shit,” said Aviva, “this is really gonna put a crimp in your dating plans.”

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things 21-9-18

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

What am I celebrating this week?

It's my father-in-law's 90th birthday today.  That's one of those birthdays you actually want to celebrate.  Unfortunately, his wife, my partner's mother and my kids' grandmother, passed away today.  So it isn't the happy birthday we were hoping for.  She was 87, so it wasn't entirely unexpected, but it's still sad.

But because my mother-in-law (or outlaw as we always called her because my partner and I aren't married) was fretting about the 90th birthday party we had planned right up until yesterday, my son and I are going to make a birthday cake which we will take when we go and have dinner with the family tomorrow night.  Sometimes you just need to mark the milestones, even if you don't make a big fuss over them.

So this week I'm choosing to celebrate life.  When you think about it, a human lifetime, even when it stretches toward a century, isn't that long.  So we have to make the most of it.

What are you celebrating this week?