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May Reading Round-off - ALL THE RE-READS!

 Saturday, 31 May 2014

Afternoon my lovelies! As promised I come to you this Saturday afternoon with my May reading post. This was a much more reading-oriented month than April since I got very little writing done until this past week. So I have a much heftier list of books to mention although I do need to disclaimer now that I am failing massively at lowering my re-read count this year. SERIOUSLY GUYS IT'S A PROBLEM! Anyhow...

Books Read in May
30. To all the boys I've loved before by Jenny Han (3/5/2014 AM)
31. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith (6/5/2014 AM)
32. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (8/5/2014 AM) *RE-READ*
33. The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens (9/5/2014 PM)
34. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (12/5/2014 PM) *RE-READ*
35. Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder (13/5/2014 AM) *RE-READ*
36. Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder (13/5/2014 PM) *RE-READ*
37. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (15/5/2014 AM) *RE-READ*
38. Frostbite by Richelle Mead (15/5/2014 PM) *RE-READ*
39. Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead (15/5/2014 PM) *RE-READ*
40. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead (16/5/2014 AM) *RE-READ*
41. Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead (17/5/2014 PM) *RE-READ*
42. Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead (17/5/2014 PM) *RE-READ*
43. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (19/5/2014 PM) *RE-READ*
44. Stealing Phoenix by Joss Stirling (21/5/2014 PM) *RE-READ*
45. Seeking Crystal by Joss Stirling (22/5/2014 PM) *RE-READ*
46. The Oathbreaker's Shadow by Amy McCulloch (26/5/2014 PM)
47. Scandal's Bride by Stephanie Laurens (27/5/2014 AM)
48. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (30/5/2014 PM) *RE-READ*
49. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (31/5/2014 AM)

Have you realised the extent of my problem? Out of TWENTY books I read this month, only SIX were new reads!! That is a terrifying statistic for someone who also bought something like 20 books over the course of the month O_o I really need to get better at working through my TBR pile rather than re-reading books I've not read for a few years.

Not including my re-reads it's pretty easy to pick a Book of the Month - City of Heavenly Fire wins hands down. I was up til past 2am this morning reading it (downstairs in the lounge out of respect for Le Boyf so I didn't keep him awake with the light/crying). Since a lot of folk haven't had chance to read it yet because of shitty Amazon not despatching their copies etc. I am not gonna talk more about what I thought of it. I will only say that I am now wracked with Herondale feels and have a massive craving to Re-read the Infernal Devices trilogy *shakes fist*.

Honourable Mentions go to the fabulous Geography of You & Me by Jennifer E. Smith and also The Oathbreaker's Shadow by Amy McCulloch. The latter of these two is rather pertinent to upcoming bookish shenanigans in the UK.

As you may know there is going to be the first Young Adult Literature Convention held within the London Comic and Film Con on the 12th & 13th of July. I am going to be there along with the fabulous bestie/twinnie that is Jess of JessHeartsBooks and ahead of YALC Jess and several other UK book bloggers including Carly from Writing from the Tub, Michelle from Fluttering Butterflies and Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea are hosting a Readathon for people to read books by authors who are going to be at the YA Lit Con. The Read-a-thon is going to be from the 23rd-29th of June and if you're interested in taking part you can sign up HERE.

I shall probably be doing a post soonish on what books I'll be wanting to read ahead of the Con so I can get things signed by ALL THE AUTHORS who I'm dying to meet. *bounces excitedly* Seriously guys I cannot tell you how flaily I am gonna be that weekend, if I get words out to speak to people it will be a miracle so advance apologies if I seem totes weird to you. (I promise I'm only like that some of the time :P)

Anyways I need to skip off (metaphorically) and get some writing done since I'm nearing a milestone on Le Novel front :D Post on that soon...

Toodles darlings


Sorry about the tumbleweeds

 Sunday, 25 May 2014

I fell off the grid a bit there. Didn't plan on doing it but my brain decided it didn't want to focus hard on writing this month so instead we went on a reading binge. That was pretty fun I'll grant you but since it was almost entirely re-reads it has further sunk my intentions to read more new books than previously read books. *quelle surprise*

I am trying to claw my way back onto the writing wagon, but real-life things have kicked me in the teeth somewhat and I may be looking at a much grimmer end to 2014 than I previously imagined. But I do still want to finish my book, damn it I will finish it this year; come hell or high water. It won't be as soon as I had hoped unless I can make June a lot more productive than May was but it *will* be done.

I'm gonna keep this short and sweet because I doubt y'all fancy reading a massively long spiel about my writerly woes. I should be doing an end of May reading post soonish and perhaps another post of as-yet-undetermined subject matter. I have done a couple of book haul vlogs over on my Youtube channel so if you fancy watching those then feel free :)

Anyways hope y'all have a good Sunday and Happy Bank Holiday to the Brits.


Writing Ray - Where I'm at with things

 Monday, 5 May 2014

Evenin' folks! I thought that I'd do a bit of a post Nano update talking about where I'm at currently with my writing shenanigans (God I love that word). I haven't done much writing since I hit my camp goal, little bits on a couple of scenes that are going to go towards the end of the book and also one which is purely for the repayment of feels to my dearest Alpha reader and Twinnie Jess since she was rather upset with me after she read the dreaded Dramatic Death Scene.

So I'm not going to be allowed to kill any more of my protags for at least one book - which is fine by me since I have already created for myself a musical trigger for tears from writing that death scene. Which is going to be very awkward later this month when Le Boyf and I go to London to see Yoshiki (Former drummer for the band X Japan) play his classical piano music which does include orchestral versions of some of their songs - two of which were playing as I wrote the final bit of the DDS. So it's very likely that I'm going to burst into tears in the concert hall on hearing either of those songs (One is ironically enough *called* Tears - skip to about 3mins in and then tell me that you wouldn't well up. The other is Forever Love - this is a shorter version and do excuse wet Yoshiki :P).

The plan for the next few months is going to be to get the end of the book done (only two scenes left I reckon) and start working on the beginning. Due to how I started writing this project I have the first scene I wrote being the first time my two main characters meet which I have got to write up to and then continue with the next section of the story. Originally I thought this scene was going to occur about a third of the way through the book, but now that I've written about half of the first draft I think it's going to have to come earlier than that.

But then will come the question of do I need to re-write that scene when I get to it? How drastically different has my writing become from that first scene to now? I don't really want to the consider the possibility that I've got worse from that point but one should never rule these things out and with me I have found that the more I do something the worse I get at it in certain bizarre occasions (cf. my book reviewing). It's shit like this that keeps me panicking.

However I gotta keep that neurotic side of my brain crammed in a teeny-tiny box otherwise it'll just jettison my confidence in this book and I'll stop completely - which I really don't want to do. Seriously I am really fucking enjoying writing this book even when it's mashing my brain or making me cry.

All being well I should hopefully *fingers crossed* have my first draft done by the time I finish work in July so I can spend leisurely days sat outside with a stack of paper (heck knows I will need to buy a efficient printer with affordable ink) and a heap of red pens alongside Jess editing this thing into something that works as whole and not in chunks.

I don't currently plan to even attempt to publish it, that is just something I don't have the energy or mental fortitude to put myself through. I want to finish a book, for me, so that I can say that I have *finished* something before I continue writing the second book, which may eventually turn into three depending on how out of control the world-building gets and what plot bunnies spring up from that. If I get to the end of writing this story, however long it turns out to be, and I am happy enough with it that I'd like to start submitting it then maybe I will. But that won't be for a while yet.

Until then I'm just gonna keep plodding on with it and dragging y'all along with me if you don't mind.
Current rough count on the manuscript is probably around 57,000 words but that's with two scenes to write and one to complete that I kind of abandoned. So by the time I hit the "end" of the book I should be at around 60K.

Now this post has got really lengthy and kinda meandering so I'm gonna go back and carry on with this scene that is going to hopefully stop me receiving Howlers :P
Until next time folks


April Reading Round-off - Wait, where did it go?

 Saturday, 3 May 2014

I thought this year was going to be a little different and maybe not keep running away from me like last year seemed to. But since we're now over a third through 2014, I guess I've got to accept that time will just continue to stream through my fingers while I shout obscenities at it.

April vanished in a blur of words and dirt. Lots of writing and a heck of a lot of gardening. 15K for my novel and much destruction for my front and back garden (seriously there's much to be said for the therapeutic value of hacking down a tree when you've had a really shitty day at work). But more surprising was that I actually got 8 books read last month, which is about the combined total of February and March. Of course having 2 whole weeks off work was a help since I was at home all day with time to procrastinate from writing.

What I read in April 
I started off my reading month about a week in because y'know, writing was eating my brain. My first book was Storm & Stone by Joss Stirling. I loved Joss's Savants series and I'm tres excited for the new book Misty Falls which is due out in October, so I thought I would give her new series a try. It's set in a boarding school which are always hot-beds of mystery and nefarious shenanigans. Throw in a strangely absent friend, two gawjus new students and you have Raven Stone's dilemma on returning to school after the Easter break. A very enjoyable start to what will be a fun series I reckon.

My next two batches of reading are pretty obvious because of the two books that I was *immensely* excited for that came out around the middle of the month. That being Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor and The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa. So of course before I could read these two I needed to re-read the first two books in each trilogy.

My fabulous signed pre-order of DoGaM arrived on the 17th which spurred me on to finish my re-reads so I could spend Easter Sunday reading and live-texting my reactions to Jess. It was a fantastic end to a gorgeous series and I really do hope that Laini decides to go back to Karou & Akiva's world even if it's to explore other characters (major props go to Jess for actually asking Laini that question on Thursday night in Birmingham *more on that later*).

After I had had my feels mauled about by Laini I decided to very cleverly hand them straight off to Julie Kagawa, whose muse lives for the feels and tears of fans. Rather worryingly for my boyfriend I dashed through both the first two books of the Blood of Eden trilogy in next to no time at all. I think my ability to read a 400pg book in only 2 hours both appalls and scares him in equal parts. :P I stayed up until 2am reading The Forever Song which I cannot regret because it was fan-fucking-tastic. I am rather sad to reach the end of this trilogy as it's been such a fabulous series and I adore the characters but since Julie's new *dragon* book Talon is coming out soonish I shall very much look forward to throwing my feels after that series.

The last book I read in April was a bit of a sudden thing. I am slowly ingratiating myself with the librarians at the school I work at, mostly because I would like to maybe work in a library once I leave this school and also there is loads of cool books I can borrow. Earlier in the week I was in the library and the reading group they have was reading a little book called Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell it has a super pretty cover as you can see and just from looking at the first 6 pages I knew this was a book I had to read.
It's more towards the middle-grade end of things but it's such a lovely story and so whimsically written that it is very deserving of its Waterstones' Children's Fiction Prize. Eccentric characters, nefarious insurance fraud schemes and rooftop adventures in Paris, what more could you want?
I devoured it just before I went to bed and spend my free hour the next day scouring the book for all of the wonderful quotes I'd seen. My particular favourite is from the main character Sophie - "I think, actually, everyone starts out with some strange in them. It's just, whether or not you decide to keep it." If you guys are super lucky you may actually see a proper full-blown REVIEW from me about it!! *lays out cushions for the swooners*

So that's everything I read, I also made a few vlogs over on my Youtube channel that are mainly book hauls and also a rather special freak-out over the YALC announcements whereby ALL THE AUTHORS are going to be there in July. And also moi. And Jess because we twinnies must go to all the things this year! But seriously it's going to be awesome and I can't wait! More on that maybe in the near future.

Also even though it happened in May, I *have* to mention the amazing happenstance which was when Jess and I went to Birmingham Waterstones to see Laini Taylor talk, answer questions and sign books!! It was a fantastic evening, with gorgeous cakes, great questions and also Laini was so lovely and sweet. She did actually say that she liked my t-shirt *dies*. Jess is gonna do a proper write-up of the night soon so look out for that!

Anyway this has taken about two hours to write and I meant to do productive stuff today like laundry and writing a lovely cute scene to cheer up my Twinnie since I broke her heart yesterday with my evil writerly ways :P

Hope everyone's April was both chocolatey and booky and that May is gonna be just as awesome.

p.s. No really Jess, a cute scene is gonna be coming your way before the Bank Holiday is over PROMISE. It may be Stella it may even be a Kid!Deryn/Keelan scene because of reasons :P


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