Tag Archive | book club

Happy World Book Day

To celebrate world Book Day today I’m going to:

– My monthly Book Group meeting to discuss our latest book – For One More Day by Mitch Albom.

– Finish reading said book

– Decide which book to read next. Top of my pile are:

= Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Novelkicks book club book for March, and on my TBR Pile challenge, some might say I gave Laura the idea for having this book this month),

= Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (The final book in the Delirium trilogy came out on Tuesday I think, so should read the second before I get the 3rd, plus, I’m going to see her at Waterstones on 25th so would be good to have them all read by then).

= Men I’ve Loved Before by Adele Parks (because, oh my god, I’ve not read it yet. AP is one of my favourite authors and I’ve not read this. It came out in 2011! What have I been doing?!?!)

= Yours Truly by Kirsty Greenwood (because I bought it on my kindle a while ago and still not read it)

= The Liar’s Lullaby by Meg Gardiner (on my list as well for TBR Pile Challenge, and I really want to read it!).

I guess that’s all I’ll be doing. Happy World Book Day all.

Another ‘Remember Me?’ Posts

I’m not sure, but I think this must be the worst I’ve been at blogging ever. Not good. Still, every mountain climbed starts with one step, this is my one step.

I massively have to thank my ROW80 buddy Laura for this. She text me the other day saying we really needed to (both!) start writing again. She came up with a brilliant idea for us to play a game of tag. Each one of us has to write to tag in the other person. So in theory, today Laura was first so I couldn’t write until she tagged me in. Then when she did, she couldn’t write tomorrow until I tagged her back in (but today!). Of course, not being tagged in shouldn’t really stop the other person from not writing, but it’s a push when you know someone is waiting for you.

So far it’s working. I’ve written 3 days in a row. That’s pretty awesome!

I went away over the weekend (I won’t bore you with how awesome it was lying by the pool in my aunt’s garden – just 45 minutes from London!) and got back late Sunday. Because Laura had pushed me, I actually wrote when I got in, instead of going straight to sleep (although there was a moment when I fell asleep with a pen in my hand…).

The greatest thing about 2 days of the writing is that it’s been on The Man of My Dreams. It’s that section that goes back from maybe 3k before I’d finished writing and started that bit over. The real mid-end-ing bit. The one I’d already planned. The problem is, it’s been so long since I wrote it, there’s a few things I’m really not sure about.

I’m going to put a word copy of the novel on my phone and see if I can read it. Then I might try reading it on the way to work etc.

I’ve just remembered, I STILL haven’t got LAST month’s book club book to read. We’re meeting NEXT TUESDAY. I really don’t think I’m going to get it and read it by then. Not if I want to do anything else in that time (I have a very busy end of week/weekend planned). Oh well.

Right, I’ll try to make another change and actually visit some other blogs. One day I might actually get back into this writing/blogging/online community thing!

Something’s Better Than Nothing

Hi! I’m still alive. I don’t even want to look at the date of my last blog, it will be way too depressing. From my visitor stats (which go up massively when I blog) I can tell it’s not been for a while. A long while. Sorry!

Shall I throw out the old excuses? I’ve been so busy at work, it’s causing me to be so tired, I’m reading too much I don’t have time for blogging… Oops, how did that get in there? That’s not a good excuse. It’s an excuse, but it’s a terrible one. I shouldn’t be reading instead of blogging -or writing for that matter.

I’ve always got that old ‘to be a good writer you have to read a lot’ old nugget, but I seem to remember I used that in my last blog (wow, I can remember things really long ago!).

If I’m truthful, at the moment, blogging and writing aren’t really even in my mind. I hardly ever think about doing either. It’s bad. The good thing is though, that when I thought about writing on Sunday, I actually did some. Only 250 words, but everything large starts with something small.

My new job is taking up a whole load of my day, and if I’m honest night. I’m working way more than 7 hours a day, even if sometimes it’s just through my lunch break (I took a whole hour yesterday, I think that’s the 3rd time since I’ve been in this role – 6 weeks). Last night I was here until 7. That’s unusual, but I often do an hour more at the end of the day. I check my emails so much too, almost first thing, just before bed. It’s crazy!

I keep telling myself that this is just the ‘setting up’ and ‘getting used to’ the job. I hope it is. The Building Manager I work with (that’s my role) leaves at 5 nearly everyday, so it is possible (of course she comes in much earlier than my 9.30!).

Anyway. I will get into a better habit of things soon. Until I do, I’m not going to make any elaborate promises of writing every day, blogging all the time, and reading less. Reading is probably good for me because it’s relaxing me. I won’t make these promises because I think it’s pretty obvious to everyone that I won’t keep them! I will at some point get back on the writing and blogging train (I have a novel to finish after all), lets just hope it’s sooner, rather than later!

Ooh, before I go, I should probably mention the books I’ve read recently(if I can remember them): Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson – read it for my  book club and totally loved it, couldn’t get enough of it, brilliant. Although scared me a little. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green – I don’t know why this appealed to me (Cecelia Ahern If You Could See Me Now anyone?) but it did, and I’m so glad it did. I couldn’t put it down. And I’m totally adding it to my list for Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge.

Wednesday 25th Jan Check-in

I so have my priorities wrong. I’ve turned the laptop on, planning on having just an hour on it before I go to bed, and what’s the first thing I do? Write a blog. Sigh. I’ve opened the novel document though, and I can see it behind this page, so hopefully as it’s there I’ll work on it.

Like yesterday. Yesterday I wrote –yeeha! Get this – I wrote 1159 words!! Get me. That’s only slightly less than the whole week before! Ridiculous! Still, let’s focus on the good – I wrote 1159 words yesterday! Woop!

I still haven’t really worked out what my problem is with writing at the mo, other than I can’t seem to motivate myself to write ever in January. Or should that be ever unless I have a fixed deadline, or goal. I think that might be my problem with ROW80 – the goals I set are my own. With NaNo or even NovelPI (Novel Push Initiative – Kait from ROW80 fame ran a few years ago) there are set goals that I have to make, and I can’t change them when I feel like it.

Having said that, I know it sounded like it, I’m not quitting ROW80. I’m convinced without it, I would be writing even less than I am now, so it is helping. And it’s really helping with the non writing goals (exercise and reading anyway, today’s probably not a good day to talk about eating…).

And, the biggest reason for me, is the ROW80 community. Without it I wouldn’t have my buddy Laura (Little Rambling Angel), who I must admit I haven’t been in touch with as much as last round, but it’s still great to know she’s there. And I wouldn’t have everyone else in ROW80, the commenters, the like-ers, the bloggers who I read, there wouldn’t be sprints (for me to not join in with – I want to though). I love ROW80. This must be my 4th round now, and I know it won’t be the last.

Guess I should get on with the actual check-in/progress bit of the blog.

Here’s the chart:

 

*sorry, chart won’t upload, I’ll try again tomorrow!

So, since Monday when I last checked in, I’ve done ok actually.

No writing on Monday, but 1159 yesterday and I know I’ll get some today. I wonder if I should lower my ‘test mile’ to below 500 words. Maybe if I set it to 100, it would get me into the habit of turning the laptop on. That’s probably half the battle.

I read a lot on Monday, but yesterday and today it’s literally just been on the tube. This morning I didn’t even get as much reading done as possible as there were problems on the Northern line so I had to WALK to work. Not a problem cause it helped the exercise, but meant less reading.

Tonight though, I got on the tube two stops earlier than usual. I got my book out waiting for the tube, then carried on reading when I got on. After 2 stops I got off automatically (my usual journey is just 2 stops) and walked away from the tube still reading. It took me a good few meters to realise this wasn’t the right stop. Oops. Had to turn around and get on the next train (next one because I couldn’t bring myself to get back on the one I’d just got off!) Idiot. I should pay more attention, but shows I’m enjoying the book.

I’m reading The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest. It’s taken me 2 years to get to a stage where I feel like I can read it again. I loved the previous 2, but they are VERY long, and they’re VERY descriptive and SHOW a lot, so it is hard work reading them. But they’re good stories. The problem I’m having is I don’t totally remember what happened in the last one, so some things aren’t making sense to me. It’s not too much of a problem, because what I don’t remember the police don’t know either, so hopefully we’ll discover them together. The other issue I have with the books is the amount of characters, whose names are so similar (and Swedish, so it’s not like remembering an everyday English name – it takes much more brain power!). Regardless of all of this, I am enjoying it!

Ok, back to my progress.

I’m doing well on the exercise thing. On Monday I just did the usual walk to London Bridge from work – about 20 minutes. Yesterday I did the same, plus a walk at lunch and the gym after work. Today I walked from the tube this morning (as said before). Tonight I had my book club meeting so couldn’t go to the gym. Instead I walked over to the pub instead of getting the bus (3km). After it, instead of getting on at the nearest tube, or getting the bus, I walked to Waterloo, about 15 minutes. Very proud of myself for that.

Eating is kinna ok. Kinna. Monday was almost really good. If I hadn’t have had a yogurt, I would have had under 1400. As it is, I went over by 49. Not the worst day in the world. Yesterday I had a training course where there were biscuits on offer. I couldn’t help it, I had some. Then when I got home, boyfriend found some more. So I had another. Ok, another and a half. I had 1704 calories. All in all, that’s still under 1750 (which I think is my ‘level’ calorie allowance). Today I’ve not worked out. I don’t really want to after the nachos I shared in the pub, the chippy chips I stole of boyfriend’s plate for dinner, and the Chocolate orange I bought (they were in Tesco for £1, I couldn’t resist! Damn Tesco).

I’ve just worked it out. Not as bad as I imagined actually – 1862. Bad, but could be worse. If I do what My Fitness Pal does and subtracts the calories I burnt exercising, 337 I get a net calorie intake of 1525. It’s not the way I want to work it out (I want to have eaten the 1525 AND then have the extra 337 burnt), but still, it’s not bad. Not anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be anyway. I just need to be better tomorrow, and Friday, and for the rest of the month. I will be better. I will, I will…

**add on – I’ve done some writing tonight – 533 of the little things, that’s a GREEN! Woop!

Wednesday’s Check-In – 18th Jan

I really should be writing, but seeing as a check-in is due today, I’ve decided to write a blog instead of my novel. Naughty me. Still, writing is writing, right? (I don’t believe that myself, but hopefully you will!).

I finished The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht tonight. I was reading it for my real life book club (as opposed to online one at www.novelkicks.co.uk). We take it in turns to choose the novel we read, and this one wouldn’t have been my choice. However, I really enjoyed it. Book review to follow! On Obreht’s website, the novel is described as a mystery why the MC’s Grandfather left home when he did and visited the place he did. Going from that description, I could use it for the Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge. I didn’t think of it as a mystery really, so am torn on whether to count it or not. Maybe I will, but make sure I read 13, you know, just to make sure!

I’ve also been to the gym tonight. I burnt 350 calories in 28 minutes. Result!

My eating today has been pretty good – 1455 calories – only 55 more than my goal. Add that to the 350 burnt at the gym and I’m well under (maybe that explains why I’m so hungry).

Looking at my chart for eating over the last few days, I can see I’ve had 3 yellow and 1 red day. I was quite unhappy about that because I really want more green days (below 1400), but then I thought about what it really means. Yellow is 1400 – 1750 calories. Apparently, because I’m short, I need 1750 calories a day to maintain my weight, therefore every yellow day where I’m eating less, I lose a little weight. Woop!

Exercise is going very well this week too – green days Monday – Wednesday. Since the beginning of the year I’ve now lost 4lb. It’s not masses, but hopefully because I’m doing it slowly, and using exercise AND a healthy diet – rather than a faddy diet – I’ll lose more and keep it off. Maybe I could even get back down to 17lb lower – where I was in spring 2010!

Reading’s going ok this week. Green today and yesterday, yellow on Monday. I need to chose a new book to read to carry on with this – another really good book would be awesome, I’ve had 4 really good books this year. No, 3 sorry. 3/4? I can’t remember. 3. That’s good!

Writing then. Well.

I wrote 591 words on Monday night. I totally didn’t have time before bed, but I thought maybe I’d just write 100 (my test mile) before boyfriend came to bed too. He faffed and I got 491 more than I planned. Woop. Last night we’d had dinner, I was just reading and about to come to the bedroom to write, when… we had a power cut. Oh no! It lasted an hour, by which time I’d gone to bed. When everything came back up, I was too cold to get back up for the laptop. I read instead.

Tonight I gymed, ate, washed up, showered, and now I’m in bed. Writing a blog. I’m going to write some of my novel – at least 500 words. I know I can do it.

How’s everyone else’s ROW80 going? If you’re not doing ROW80, how’s everything else going?

*Update – 590 written tonight – that’s a green day!*

Books, Books, Books… and Trouble?

I am so excited right now, for a million different reasons.  There’s so many things, I don’t know which to tackle first.  I think I’m going to go chronologically. 

I went to the library at lunchtime today.  Now, we know I have a slight problem with the library – I go and pick up books.  Too many books. But I promised myself I’d be good.  I had a purpose – well 3 purposes – I was going to stick to them and not even look at another book. 

I so nearly did it too.  I got the book I needed (see below), I got the DVD I needed (Grey’s Anatomy – Series 3 – Easter viewing) and I was on the way to the computers to check my emails.  As I was walking across the room, I saw a sign that couldn’t be ignored.  It said SALE.  Uh oh. 

I picked a book up, and found it was 50p.  Yes, 50p.  So I picked up another and another… until I had 5 in my hand (excluding the one I went in for).  Eek.  5 books.  Even as I stood by the sale table I knew I shouldn’t do it.  But I couldn’t help it.  I actually tried to put one of them back down, but I couldn’t.  Oops.

But – I got 5 books for £2.50.  That’s damn good.  And, there’s 3 authors I’d not heard of – so it’s almost like research… Kind of.  I’ve got: Addition by Toni Jordan (which I started reading in the library – such a good 1st page), Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes, Famous Writers School by Steven Carter, An Offer You Can’t Refuse by Jill Mansell and finally Members Only by Leonie Fox.

So that was exciting.  If not a little worrying because I know my other half is going to kill me.   Then, I get back to work and someone from Facilities asks me if I’m New2WritingGirl.  Hmmmmm.  How did they know?  Why?  Apparently there was a package for New2WritingGirl (NewToWritingGirl was one digit too many for a Twitter name).  Woop!  I won a competition on Twitter from the lovely people @PiatkusBooks  and that was the prize pack.  Double Woop.  I’m now the proud owner of: What French Women Know: About Love, Sex and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind by Debra Ollivier, Straight Talking by Linda Blair; The Price by Alexandra Sokoloff and Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center.  Seriously I am so excited – they all sound so good.  AND as 2 of them are non-fiction I can totally read them at the same times as a fiction book.  Woop!

So now a couple of people from the facilities department know about my blog and my Twitter account.  I am anonymous no more.  I thought that would bother me, but as more and more people read my work and comment on it, I’m starting to care less and less if people find out about my ‘other life.’ 

Also exciting.  I bought another book today.  Well, it’s really a novella, and it’s an ebook.  Does that make it better?  Kait Nolan is a writer whose blog was one of the first I started to follow when I started blogging myself.  She finished a novel last year and asked the Twitterverse if anyone wanted to Beta read it.  I volunteered, but before I got half way through she decided she had to re-write it completely.  I was a little gutted as I was enjoying it.  A few months later she decided to scrap it altogether.  Again I was gutted. 

But, now, she’s just released a novella at various places including Smashwords.  It’s called Forsaken by Shadow and I can tell you, it’s pretty damn good.  I’ve been reading it this afternoon and am really enjoying it.  I was getting really frustrated as I was on the switchboard at the time so people kept calling up and interrupting me.  Damn people.

I totally forgot to mention the reason I went to the library other than for Grey’s Anatomy and to use the internet (which after the excitement of all the books, I totally forgot to do).  I found this great website called Novel Kicks – it’s an online writers group that looks really fun. They’ve got a book club and for their April read they’ve chosen The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters.  I joined so will be reading this shortly – the library stocked it so I had to go get it. 

I’ve got to say, I’m not too sure if I want to read it – purely cause I don’t read things that will scare me.  And I’m pretty sure this will.  I don’t know why I don’t – I used to.  In fact I used to LOVE all the Point Horror books as a teen – but somewhere between then and now I stopped reading them.  But, I said I was going to join the reading group, so I’m going to read it.  I just won’ t be reading it alone in the house, or alone on the way home in the dark. 

Waterstones are holding a ‘Tweetup’ (Twitter Meet up for those not in the know) tonight, which I want to go to.  My boyfriend’s dropped out and none of my friends want to go.  I know I should go on my own, but I’m not that good at things like that.  No I think it’s that I’ve never been to anything like that so don’t know what to expect and if it’s going to be people in groups then little old me alone, I don’t really want to go.  But I know I want to.  I’m half telling myself that I’ve taken a LOT of big steps into the unknown recently – blogging, writing, putting my work out there for others to read – that I should take another one.  But then at the same time, I’m thinking I’ve done so much I don’t need to do this too.  I can’t decide.  Agh! It might actaully be too late when I get there… Is that a good excuse not too?