Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020 Vision - Reading Challenge

I feel like I've been waiting decades to use that headline! I truly want to be a better reader and blogger this year. I know I say that every single new year's day, but I mean it this time. There's just something cool about year 2020. Last year, I had kicked off the ABC reading challenge. Great idea, but life happened and I only made it to letter J. These are the books I read:

"Anthem" by Ayn Rand
"The Bollywood Bride" by Sonali Dev
"C is for Corpse" by Sue Grafton
"Dragon Tears" by Dean Koontz
"The Eyes of the Beholders" Star Trek: TNG novel by A. C. Crispin
"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley
"Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn
"Heart Shaped Box" by Joe Hill
"It" by Stephen King
"Joyland" by Stephen King

I have other hobbies that eat up my time like gaming (Red Dead Redemption II is uhhhh-mazing!), cooking (love feeding people), and crafting (paper flower artist). I decided to start the ABC challenge over this year, and my first book will be, once again, by Ayn Rand - "Atlas Shrugged." I just her writing style, smooth and overly descriptive without feeling overwhelming.

Years ago, I came up with a reading formula that helps me stay on track and read more. My goal is to read a minimum of 50 pages a day. I write the formula on a Post-It with the start and proposed end date that I should finish the book, then stick it inside the cover or back as a reminder. If I fail to meet the minimum, I'll scribble the new stats on the Post-It, kind of like how Google Maps will reroute if you miss your turn. This is just my baseline, and most of the time I finish long before the expected date. The point of this formula is to give me a goal. It's based on my schedule and responsibilities and catered to what I know is doable for me on my busiest day.

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it helps more than you know, and I'd advise anyone to try it out.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Kiss My Feat

I find it hilarious that my very last post here was one year ago, welcoming 2018. I have neglected my beautiful book blog, and I'm ashamed but willing to devote more time here as I miss blabbing about life, books and writing!

Day one of this new year, and I managed to score some publishing success. No, your house isn't haunted. That was my shriek of happiness you just heard emanating through my typed words.

So I posted a six-word memoir on the similarly named site and scored memoir of the day, a feat that isn't easy to achieve. It's 3:30 a.m., and the excitement has me wide-eyed. You see, I have been in a writing slump for a long while. I've been yearning for a new writing credit, sort of like how I crave queso when I'm highly stressed. (Believe me, it's extreme.) For the last 2 years, I've been working as an academic advisor at a community college, a very fulfilling role but includes zero writing. So it's been a starvation of sorts, making it bittersweet. I hate, hate, hate new years resolutions, but I cannot stop myself from typing these words: This year, I will write more, read more, and try harder score more bylines.

I've come up with a reading challenge for myself that will hopefully crush the readers block that has plagued me since April 2018. I will attempt to read a book for each letter of the alphabet this year. I'm a planner, so having this strategy will help keep me focused and keep my severe indecisiveness at bay. So day one of 2019, I choose to kick it off with:

Anthem by Ayn Rand.

Book review to follow ...

That is, unless I royally fail (again) to update this blog, which I hope doesn't happen.

Happy new year, and happy reading!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Welcome, 2018.

Day two of the new year. As with each new year, I feel a renewed sense of enthusiasm about pretty much everything. I don't bother setting resolutions, but rather keep the idea of them in the back of my mind. I want to write more, read more, stay more positive, shun negativity, submit more stories, enter more writing contests, meet more people, learn new things, get better at writing, make more paper flower designs, be a better human overall.

New endeavors this year, well. I started keeping a handwritten journal like I did when I was much younger. It's fun, nostalgic, and will help me remember things. I've updated my blog with this post. I've eaten healthy so far this whole year (ha!). And today, I go back to work after a 2-week holiday break, better after having the flu.

Reading wise, I am on book 4 of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series that became the show True Blood. So far so good. I met Charlaine Harris at a Story Con event in NOLA in 2016, so it's nice to read her work finally. Talented lady and such an inspiration.

Not a bad start to 2018. Let's see what else it brings.