About Me · Reading

Mid-Year Reading Checkup

 

So, we’re a little over halfway through the year and I thought it would be a good idea to check on my yearly reading goal!  Every year, I strive to read (at least) a book a month. You can always see my progress for each year on this page. Because I usually surpass my goal each month (by a LOT of books sometimes), I don’t always record every book I read on this page. It would be a HUGE list! I decided it would be fun to count up the books I’ve read so far in 2012. It may not sound like a lot to some of you, but for me, I think I’ve done pretty well.

Drum roll………………………..>>>>>

 

20 books! WOOHOO!

Again, not that many for most of us bookworms, but the year is only half over! I can’t wait to see how many I’ve read by the end of December!

How many books, on average, do you think you read in a year? Do you set any goals for yourself? If you don’t and you’d like to read more, I highly recommend my own goal of (at least) a book a month. It takes pressure off to read a huge amount (unless you want to), but it at least gets you reading!

Thanks for stopping by today! Happy reading!

 

~L.M. ❤

About Me · Reading · Wednesday Wanderment

Wednesday Wanderment

This is a picture I took while hiking with the Philosopher last fall. Yes, I know it’s not fall yet, but I am getting SOOOO pumped about it. This fall is going to be wonderfully exciting, because my book will be published by then! YAY! Okay, back to earth, I want you to enjoy some Wednesday Wanderment.

Favorite Blog of the Week

>>Writer Unboxed— This is an AMAZING website full of articles published by authors and writers. It has been an unending source of encouragement, advice, and warm, fuzzy feelings for me. Check it out!

Favorite Posts and Articles of the Week

>>What’s in your creative writing notebook?

>>Fantasy Novel Repeats

>>The Scrabble Addict

>>Finish what you start

Currently Reading

>>Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

>>And a million other books. 🙂

Currently Writing

>>The sequel to the novel I’m prepping for publishing! (I think I just finished the first draft today!!!! WOOHOO!)

Random Non-Writing-Related Link of the Week

>>ADORABLE

I hope you are all having a fabulous week so far! We’ve made it to Wednesday! Keep up all your hard work and you’ll make it to the weekend! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by,

L.M. ❤

About Me · Reading

Themed-Book Weekends

As you may have read from my weekend posts, I had two whole days of blissful on-the-couch (or comfy chair) reading! It was fantastic. It had been so long since I just sat down and devoured one book after the other. My reading list for July has exploded! When I get into a certain subject or topic, I tend to stick with it for a little while. Now that the weekend has passed, I can see how much fun it was to have a themed-book weekend. For this one, I focused on paranormal fiction. Some of you may scoff at such a thing, but I really enjoy vampire//werewolf stuff as an occasional indulgence–though I maintain that I loved these things before they became the “big deal”. I was a HUGE Anne Rice fan back in high school.

Now was it the most dense and life-changing fiction ever? No. But it sure was super fun to read while relaxing in my pajamas! Over the course of the weekend, I read 5 novellas and two novels. I don’t normally go for the novella thing (since I, myself, have a very hard time writing them!), but I decided to give them a shot and I really enjoyed how the author was able to create a whole and complete story in such a short word count.

My advice is, if you do a themed weekend, maybe check out shorter novels//novellas that you can read straight through in one sitting. It is super fun to have come to the end of the weekend and realize how much you actually read! As well, pick your theme, your books, and then chalk off an entire weekend for your themed-book weekend! You’d be surprised how much it helps you to feel rejuvenated and contented!

Happy Reading!

About Me · Reading

Glorious Relaxation

After all the busyness of the last two weeks, my husband and I slept in yesterday, woke up and watched Saturday morning cartoons (yes, we’re 8-year-olds at heart) and then did….nothing. It was AMAZING. I literally sat in a big comfy chair in my pajamas and read books on my Kindle ALL DAY. Seriously. It was the best relaxation day I’ve had in a long time. I haven’t just sat down and read through an entire book in one sitting in a long while and it really reminded me of how much of a book gobbler I am.

If you haven’t taken an all day rest day in a while, my advice is to get into some pajamas or comfy lounge clothes and make it happen. It is incredibly healing and rejuvenating. We all need rests like that. Take a minute to celebrate all your hard work by sitting in peace and quiet and reading. You know you want to!

When was the last time you sat down for an entire day and engaged in an activity you love? Share!

~L.M.

 

Happy Sunday. I’m off to late church (slept too long for early church 😉

About Me · Dreams · Editing · Indie · Publishing · Reading · Writing

Changes to the Blog!

Happy Saturday, all!

WOW. I slept in really late, due to the fact that I stayed up past 1 AM reading a Zoe Winter’s book. I am coming to you (sleepy-eyed) this morning to announce some fun and exciting changes to the blog!

“But it looks the same!” you might protest. Look closer. You’ll see on my pages above the entries that there is now a News! page and a Books page! As well, in the drop down menu beneath Books is the Tales from Niflheim page. Time is quickly moving towards my deadline, which is August 31st! My first book should be available on Amazon and the Smashwords distribution sites by Fall 2012! As soon as I know it’s available on those sites, I’ll be having some release week excitement on the blog!

Now, these pages are not super thrilling at the moment, because I am still gathering the material I’d like to put on those pages. As soon as I’m ready, though, I’ll update them and make them look shiny (yes, that’s a Firefly reference.)

Also new is the Facebook Fan Page link to the right on the sidebar. It’s underneath the Twitter feed. Go ahead. Go check it out! You know you want to. 🙂

I am in sort of a surreal state of mind right now. I am actually on track to meet my deadline, I am actively prepping my novel for publishing, and my life-long dream is about to come true! SO exciting! *little girl squeal ensues*

Have a very happy Saturday!

~L.M.

About Me · Reading

My Top Ten Fantasy Books

Alrighty! As it has probably become apparent, I am a huge fantasy//sci-fi nerd. Today, I decided to do my top ten favorite fantasy books that I have hoarded away in my house. 🙂

1) Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

2) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

3) The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (yes I know it could technically be three books–or six if you’re really picky– don’t judge!)

4) Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara

5) Into the Land of the Unicorns by Bruce Coville

6) Sabriel by Garth Nix

7) The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

8) Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

9) Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

10) Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

These books are classified as “favorites”. If you’re wanting to know my absolute favorite of them all, it’s Daughter of the Forest. I ADORE that book. As some of you may know, Juliet Marillier is my favorite author of ALL time. I WILL own every single one of her books one day. I have all of her Sevenwaters books so far. I haven’t read many of her other series books yet, but I definitely will. I also purchase all of her books in paper//hardback formats. I love ebooks on my Kindle, but for Marillier, I splurge on the physical copies. 🙂

What are your top ten fantasy books? I’d love to hear! Don’t squeeze in any sci-fi in there. I am going to do a separate list for Sci-fi. 😉

Thanks for stopping by! Share your top ten in the comments section!

~L.M.

P.S.—It bugs me that the books are not in the same order in the list as in the picture, but it would bother me more for their sizes to be all wonky and stuck in odd places. 🙂

About Me · Dreams · Editing · Indie · Positivity · Publishing · Writing

Developing a Plan

For many of us dreaming, pre-published authors out there, getting a book published would be on up there in the list of “life goals”. For those of us who are self-publishing through Amazon, Smashwords, or some other program, that dream is realizable. However, it is still work. In fact, it might possibly be more work than going the traditional route. When you’re writing on a shoestring budget (or no budget at all), you’re it. You’re the cover artist, you’re the editor, you’re the formatter, you’re the marketer…the list goes on an and on. Of course, for some the hope is that once they get published, they’ll be able to make enough of a profit to keep doing what they love and be able to hand some of the prep work batons off to someone else. I don’t know about you, but formatting MSWord documents for Kindle and Smashwords sounds a bit daunting. I’m fully prepared to give it a shot on my own, but that might be something that I’ll pass off to someone else one day. Maybe. We’ll see. 😉

Even if you end up loving every single aspect of prepping a book for indie publishing and want to end up doing it all yourself forever, there are methods that can help you maintain your sanity and put out excellent books.

Develop a plan. That’s right. If you never do anything else to help guide yourself along this path, start making a plan. This plan needs to include how you will handle editing, beta reading (if you will at all), cover art development, marketing, building up your reader platform, money you’re willing to spend to get your name out there, which publishing programs you will approach, formatting for those programs, etc. The list is much larger, but you get the idea. Having a plan for how you will tackle these things will be of great help to you in the long run. It may even save you some of the major headaches of not having thought about these things on down the road.

Is it possible to become a success without at least refreshing yourself on the aforementioned list? I don’t know. I’m not published yet. 😉 However, my goal is that I will be published before the end of 2012 and I, myself, am definitely making a plan.

Some resources I’ve been using to help me develop this plan are:

>>J.A. Konrath’s Newbie Guide to Publishing blog

>>Writer Unboxed

>>Amanda Hocking’s specific posts here and here

>>Zoe Winter’s: Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author

Sure there are countless other links I could give you, but these are the ones that I continue going back to over and over and over again! Check them out. I hope they will be helpful to you. For those of you who are going the traditional publishing route, I feel the advice is the same. Know what you want out of your writing career so that you are better able to communicate with agents, publishers, and editors. This is your dream, your passion! Be aware of how things are flowing in the writing world! Educating yourself on the art and craft of writing and selling your books, will be a huge help in your journey!

Thanks for stopping by! Go get yourself a plan! 🙂

 

~L.M.