Writer’s Break Friday | Week 2

Hi Booklovers!

It’s time for another “Writer’s Break Friday” here on the blog 🙂 ! If you don’t know this is a new series on my blog where I just post weekly progress reports on my writing for the last week. (Disclaimer: I’m still working out how I want to format these updates so any feedback and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!)

Now, I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t do as well as I hoped for this first week of writing 😦 (If you would like to see some of my writing resolutions for 2018, click here )

Before I go into the daily breakdown, I thought I would give you some quick stats for the week:

Total Words Written: 1,513

Total Time Spent Writing: 3 Hours

Project (s) Worked on: “Dragons” Writing Prompt

Now, let’s jump into the daily breakdown of writing for the week:

Monday, January 8th 2018

Words Written: 412

Time Spent Writing: 1 Hour

So the first day started out really good. I wrote for a full hour and managed to get a decent amount of words down (I’m a bit of slow writer). I started attending a writing group at my local library a few months ago. We are given a prompt to work on over the course of the month in preparation for our next meeting. I usually save these until the last two days before the meetings. However, I recently decided to take my writing a lot more seriously than I have in the past and thought spending more time on these prompts would be a good way to start. (Though I do want to start working on the novel I’ve been planning by February as well!)

Tuesday, January 9th 2018

Words Written: 0

Time Spent Writing: 0

As you can see, I got absolutely no writing done. It’s not that I didn’t want to, I just ran out of time 😳 This week wasn’t just the start of my new writing schedule, I also started writing up daily to-do lists for myself every morning. I had a lot on that list for Tuesday, one of which was to create my own reading journal. I have been seeing them around a lot lately and decided to give it a try myself. But it took a lot longer than I had anticipated to set up. (I try to have everything on my list done before dinner every night as I take a few hours after that to watch some t.v. prior to reading in bed before going to sleep).

Wednesday, January 10th 2018

Words Written: 385 

Time Spent Writing: 45 minutes

I had every intention of making up that lost day by setting my timer for 2 hours Wednesday. But as I got to the 45 minute mark, I was having a hard time concentrating and decided to end the session early. I realized trying to add extra time on to my daily goal stressed me out and didn’t help with my concentration. From now on if I miss a day, I don’t think I’m going to try and make it up that way, but instead try to write for a while on the weekend instead.

Thursday, January 11th 2018

Words Written: 329

Time Spent Writing: 30 minutes

I really wanted to make my goal of writing for 1 hour. I was completely into the story, which usually takes me a good 20 minutes of writing to get to the point. But I started typing too fast which made my hands hurt a lot sooner than usual. (My disability effects the range of motion in my right hand which makes typing fast for long amounts of time a little uncomfortable. And with it being so cold out recently my pain has been a little higher than normal). So I ended up calling off the session early.

Friday, January 12th 2018

Words Written: 378 

Time Spent Writing: 45 minutes

I was so close to hitting 1 hour, but it wasn’t entirely my fault. About 15 minutes into the session I ended up losing power for a little bit. And with it the internet 😦 . I write my prompts in Google Docs (I don’t have Microsoft on this laptop as  I have it on my desktop and just don’t feel like adding it right now) so when I lost power I had to take a break because I knew it wouldn’t save and I didn’t want to risk losing it once the internet did come back because it has a tendency to go to an error message for a minute while its trying to connect to wifi again. I tried to get back into the head-space I was in before but I just couldn’t.

 

So while I didn’t get 5 days/hours of writing for this week, I’m not too disappointed in myself because I did manage to write more than last week (which was nothing 😆 ). It’s also something new so I expected there to be a few bumps in the road at first. There’s always next week though! How was you’re writing week? Did you hit you’re goals for the week? 

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Top 5 Wednesday | Books You Didn’t Get To in 2017

Hi Booklovers!

Its time for another T5W post! “Top 5 Wednesday” is hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes.  If you are interested in participating, you can find a full list of topics here.

This week’s topic is Books You Didn’t Get To in 2017. I’m not gonna to lie; I definitely had a lot more than just 5 books that I planned on getting to in 2017 but didn’t. I’m going to cheat a little and talk mostly about series (with 1 exception) that I wanted to at least start in 2017 but didn’t.

Anyway, onto the books:

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer I’ve been meaning to get to this series forever. I honestly don’t know why I keep putting it off! I’ve heard really good things about this but I also don’t read a lot of retellings of the classic princesses, so I’m a little nervous. This is the year I’m actually going to sit down and read it! (I give you permission to start spamming me with reminders if I haven’t at least read Cinder by June 🙂 )

The Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor I can explain this one (at least a little bit!) So I had every intention of reading these last year but then Strange the Dreamer came out and I decided to read that before jumping into her three-book trilogy. I LOVED IT! (If you want to read my review for it, click here). I wanted to read these as soon as I finished Strange the Dreamer but got distracted by other books. Next thing I knew 2017 was over….

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo Okay, I have absolutely no excuse for why I haven’t read these yet. I own ALL of them, including the Six of Crows duology. I even catch myself staring over at them on my shelf occasionally, wishing I was reading them, but I just don’t go and pick them up. (It’s sad, I know!)

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater This one isn’t too bad, I have at least tried to start The Raven Boys. I got like 80 pages in before I got distracted by school and other books. (Are you sensing a theme here yet?!)

Uprooted by Naomi Novik I was so determined to read this last year. I even checked it out from my library to read it. But (you guessed it) I got distracted by other books and the next thing I knew, it was time to return it to the library. However, I recently saw that the ebook was on sale for $2.99 (I’m not sure if it’s still on sale now). But I purchased it and I’m planning on reading it next month 🙂 !

 

So that’s it for this post! Let me know in the comments what books/series you meant to get to last year but didn’t!

 

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Review: Spellbook of the Lost and Found

30079439Author: Moira Fowley-Doyle

Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books

Publication Date: August 8, 2017

Series: Standalone

Source: Library Copy

Read: October 26, 2017 – November 1, 2017

Goodreads Summary: One stormy summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hair clips and jewellery, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something bigger; something she won’t talk about.

Then Olive meets three wild, mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel and Rowan. Like Rose, they’re mourning losses – and holding tight to secrets.

When they discover the ancient spellbook, full of hand-inked charms to conjure back lost things, they realise it might be their chance to set everything right. Unless it’s leading them towards secrets that were never meant to be found . . . (Goodreads Page)

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I read this as part of a readalong hosted by Sarah-Jane from TheBookLife over on Youtube. This was my first time actively participating in a readalong group and I really enjoyed it. I hope to be able to participate in more in the future 🙂

So I’m going to start by talking about the setting. I really liked it. It was the first book that I read that took place in Ireland, so it was nice to read about a different area of the world other than the US or UK. However, it took me quite a while to determine where this was set because while the location was stated in the beginning, it didn’t actually say it was in Ireland. I had to stop reading to look up where it was. Usually something like that doesn’t bother me too much, especially in fantasy novels, but for books set in the real world, I personally need to know what area of the world a story is set. (I know its strange, but I always have an easier time picturing everything if I can vaguely plot it on a map).

The characters were amazing. They were written in a way that left no stone unturned. I was never left wanting to know more (well, at least of the four main characters–there was definitely some others that I wanted to know more about, but I can’t say anymore because SPOILERS). All the characters felt real to me. I had no issues picturing them at all. However, this was a multiple POV story so at times I found myself unsure of who’s head I was in. I ended up purchasing the audio-book about halfway through because of it (the audio-book had different readers for each POV).

The plot of this story was fantastic. I’ve never read anything like it before. It hooked me from the very first chapter and had me guessing the whole time how it would end. One thing that really bothered me was that it was more of an open ending. Usually I don’t mind endings like that. But this one was a little too open-ended. It left me with more questions then answers. Since this is a standalone, I thought this needed to have just a little bit more of a concrete ending then it had, even if it was still left a bit open-ended (hopefully that makes sense).

The writing was also great. It gave such vivid descriptions of everything that I had no trouble at all picturing what was going on.

 

So that’s it for this review. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this book and what you thought of it!

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Writer’s Break Friday | Week 1

Hi Booklovers!

Today’s post is going to be introducing a new series I’m doing entitled “Writer’s Break Friday”. Basically its a weekly update revolving around my own personal writing habits (I just wanted to name it something cooler than “Weekly Writing Update”).

I’ve been planning on doing something like this since I first started my blog. With the New Year, I thought it was the perfect time to introduce it.

I’ve been wanting to start this as a way to keep myself accountable for my writing. (Its a lot easier to make myself sit at the computer to write if I know someone is expecting something from me 🙂 ) With that being said, I don’t plan on sharing any of my actual writing on here (well, at least not right now), but rather weekly word count updates, time spent actually writing every week, and what kind of stories I’ve been working on. I’ve decided to make this weekly to start in order to develop a daily writing habit, but I might change it to monthly later on!

So that’s a little about what these weekly installments will be about. Since this is the first week of 2018, I haven’t actually written anything this week as I was trying to get my reading goals a little head-start and get my blog back on track a little.

To end this post, I thought I would let you know some of my writing resolutions for this year:

Write 5 Days a Week

I was a Creative Writing Major in College and one of my Professors told us to write at least 5 days a week. At the time, I was taking 5/6 classes a semester so I didn’t really find the time to write everyday. That class always ended up being an afternoon one and my only class of the day, so I would just spend that entire morning writing. But now that I’m completely done with school, I really want to stick to a writing schedule (one that doesn’t involve me giving up an entire day just to write). This would probably be Monday through Friday as I always have trouble finding time to write on the weekends as everyone is home.

Write 1 Hour Per Day

I’ve tried setting daily word count goals for myself in the past, but that never seems to work for me. There are times where I hit the goal within an hour or two, but then there are times where I spend all day in front of the computer and haven’t even hit the half-way point (which is usually the case). So I decided a time limit goal might work better!

Finish a First Draft of a Novel

In the past, I have come up with so many story ideas but then I never end up finishing them. I recently came up with a new idea and I really want to make this year the year where I actually complete it and not just let it die out. (I’ll talk more about it in the coming weeks!)

 

So that’s it for this post! Are you excited about this new series? Let me know in the comments some of your own writing resolutions for the year! Also let me know if you have any suggestions for what to include in these updates.

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Top 5 Wednesday | 2018 Reading Resolutions

Hi Booklovers,

“Top 5 Wednesday” is hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes.  If you are interested in participating, you can find a full list of topics here.

It’s been a while since I actually participated in this but when I saw this month’s topics, I knew I had to participate. This week’s topic is our 2018 Reading Resolutions:

Goodreads Goal: 12 Books

Let’s get the most obvious reading resolution out of the way first. I’ve been participating in the Goodreads Challenge for the last few years (over on my personal Goodreads account) and while I like the concept of it, I was finding that it was causing me a lot of stress when it came to reading. Especially when you take into account that I was still in college at the time, so the majority of my reading had to be done over my winter/summer breaks. So last year I decided to set my goal at 12 books (or 1 book per month) and this really helped me to enjoy reading again. I ultimately ended reading just over double that which I’m super happy about. So I figure why change it this year if it worked so well for me last time. And it’s my first full year out of school, so I’m hoping to read even more than last year 🙂 !

Participate in More Read-a-longs/Read-a-thons

I participated in a few last year, but because I was still in college the first half of it, I really had to pick and choose which ones I did. I really enjoy participating in them so I’m hoping to get to do more this year. (And hopefully make some new blogger friends in the process!)

Read the Books I Haven’t Gotten to Yet

I  won’t go into to much detail here as this is relevant for next week’s Top 5 Wednesday, but there were so many books I wanted to read last year, but never got to them. I’m finally going to make 2018 the year that I stop putting them off!

Read at Least One Hour Everyday

This is something I’ve been getting better at over the last month or so. But I definitely want to make this a priority for 2018. I have a history of forgetting to read one day and then the next thing I know a month or even two have passed and I never picked up a book. I’m determined to break that cycle this year!

Get Back to Reading for Fun

This one might sound a little weird, but I was a English major in college. We spent all our time analyzing the books we read that I’ve caught myself doing that for books I read for pleasure now too. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to read critically, but I think I could do that without trying to analyze it on a college-class-level all the time. (Does that make sense? Please tell me if it makes sense) I just want to get back to the enjoyment of reading for reading not for school.

 

So that’s all I have for this post. Let me know in the comments some of your reading resolutions for this year!

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December Wrap Up | January 2018 TBR

Hi Booklovers!

Today’s post is another wrap up/TBR one. I think I had a pretty good reading month this time. I managed to read 3.5 books. If you saw my November Wrap Up | December TBR post than none of these books should be a surprise.

****Note: For photos with no visible Goodreads links…they are attached to the photos…Just hover over the images and the links will appear along the bottom of each image****

I participated in HarryXmasToYou hosted by Maureen Keavy over on Youtube for the first time ever. And while I didn’t quite meet my goal to reread all 7 books in the month of December, I did get through the first 3 which I’m really happy about.

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(Goodreads Page)

I was also able to finish The Winter Sea in December which I’m really happy about! I enjoyed this book a lot. I was able to read about Scotland in a different light than I’ve read about it previously and I can’t wait to see what the next book in the series holds. Full review to come.

January TBR

I have quite an ambitious TBR for January and I’m determined to read as much as I can this month to make sure I get through as many of these as possible 🙂 !

If you didn’t know, I’m hosting my very first read-a-long this month focusing on Morgan Rhodes’ Falling Kingdoms series. I will leave the link to the announcement post here.

 

I also really want to finish my reread of the Harry Potter series.

And then I also have some miscellaneous books that I also want to get to if I have time:

Emma from Emmabooks is hosting a year-long read-a-long of the Shadowhunter Chronicles. I first tried reading City of Bones when the movie was being released but never finished it. So I thought I would give this another try and the read-a-long is the perfect opportunity to stop putting it off.

The Firebird is the sequel to The Winter Sea and I really want to see what’s next. I know absolutely nothing about this book but I kind of want to go into this blind.

I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about The Fifth Season and I think it’s time that I read it for myself to see what all the excitement is about!

 

So that’s all I have for this post. Let me know in the comments some books you ended 2017 with and what you’re reading to kick off 2018!

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Read-a-long Announcement: Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes

Hi Booklovers!

Today’s post is a readalong announcement, which I have done a couple times before. But I’m super excited about this one as it is one that I’m hosting myself 🙂 !

As you probably already know from the title of this post, we are going to be reading the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes during this readalong! You might be wondering why I’m hosting a readalong for a series that has been out for quite a while, but the answer is simple: the last novel in the series, Immortal Reign is set to be published on February 6, 2018. I have yet to read any other books in the series even though they’ve been on my TBR for a very long time. I figured that now would be the perfect time to read the first 5 books in the series so that I will be ready for when the big finale hits shelves. And I thought that I couldn’t be the only one who has yet to read them so I posted a poll to twitter to see if anyone would want to read along with me and the majority said that they would love to so hence the creation of this readalong.

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Now, you might be wondering how this readalong is going to work. It’s very simple and quite laid back. The only thing you have to do is read at least one book from the series to participate (you don’t even have to be involved in the discussion if you don’t want to be). I have created a Goodreads Group where all the discussions are going to take place. (Each book has it’s own section and is then subdivided by chapters!) That’s really all there is to this readalong 🙂

But when is this going to take place?

The answer to that question is from midnight on January 1, 2018 through 11:59pm February 3, 2018 (in your specific timezone).  I have created a personal schedule for myself in order to read all the books during this time. You are more than welcome to follow along with it, but feel free to read them at your own pace:

January 1st through 6th: Falling Kingdoms (Book 1)
7th through 13th: Rebel Springs (Book 2)
14th through 20th: Gathering Darkness (Book 3)
21st through 27th: Frozen Tides (Book 4)
28th through February 3rd: Crystal Storm (Book 5)

But what is this series about?

12954620Goodreads Summary: In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword…. (Goodreads Page)

 

Are you going to be joining me? Let me know in the comments whether this would be a reread or your first time reading it! Also if you have any questions please leave them in the comments.

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