Tag Archive | Delirium

Avon Books, New Books, Giving Books, Reviewing Books and BOOKS!

Books, books, books! Oh, how I love books ūüôā

I missed the ROW80 Check-in yesterday, but I’m going to skate over that and go on to do this blog about books in all the forms in my life at the moment.

The reason I missed the check in yesterday, other than because I didn’t get a free minute at work, was because I was out in the evening at a meet the authors event at Avon Books. As a reviewer for Novelkicks¬†(more about that later), I got invited along with Laura (I think Laura had more to do with it actually, thanks Laura). Check out some photos posted on Novelkicks today¬†here¬†– including a rare one of me (and there’s one below – what’s come over me today?)!

There were lots¬†of Avon¬†authors there – Laura Ziepe, Sophie Hart, Gill Paul, Julia Williams, Fiona Gibson, Claudia Carroll, Paul Finch,¬†and Erin Kaye, and loads of other bloggers.¬†Along with a few glasses of wine, and a cupcake, we had a really nice long¬†talk with Fiona Gibson about books and writing, and chatted to Gill Paul and Julia Williams. Unfortunately the night¬†flew, so we didn’t get a chance to talk to any of the others. It’s so nice talking to authors, and thinking that one day… maybe… I could be¬†one of¬†them…

Massive thanks to everyone at Avon for a great night.

We walked to the underground with Julia, and got talking about the Romantic Novelists’ Association, of which she’s a member. Talking about it with her and Laura’s made me so excited about going to events in the next few months, and of course the Summer Party.

During my long conversation with Fiona, she recommended Pear Shaped by Stella Newman. I started reading it on the loooooooong¬†journey home last night (it always seems longer when you get on, and stay on 1 tube, rather than changing, Hammersmith to Whitechapel seemed so long on just one tube, 35 minutes isn’t really,¬† but it’s all the way¬†from west to east London, it FEELS it!). I then read it on the way to work today, and home, and then sat and read it during dinner, and after. I’m on about p130.¬†Needless to say, it’s really good. I’m looking forward to her new one (Leftovers)¬†already, although I’ve got a little wait, it’s not out until April.

 

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Avon Cupcakes…. Mmmmmmm¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Fiona and Me

During another conversation yesterday, I got talking about Stephen King’s On Writing. Fiona agreed with me, and countless other people I’ve spoken to in the past, it’s the best writing book out there. Talking about it, made me want to read it again. After this one, I’m going to. I really can’t wait. I know it will inspire me to work more on my novel.

My second book¬†review for NovelKicks¬†has been posted today – The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. I read it months ago, way before Christmas and loved it. It was really nice reviewing it now¬†because it reminded me how good it was. Lots of people have recommended Last Letter From Your Lover by her, so I’m really looking forward to reading that soon.

And finally, something I’m really excited about. When I’ve read¬†books, unless I really, really love them, I have to get rid of them. Not have to as in I can’t stand having them in the house, but have to as in the flat isn’t big enough to hold all the books I’ve read in my life. I usually give them to charity shops, but at the moment, we don’t live anywhere near a charity shop, and I’ve got too many to be able to carry if I went to find one.

Last week I read something about donating books to libraries. I’d never even thought of doing that. What a fabulous idea. So earlier in the week I emailed my local library to see if they accepted donated books. They do. The library is about 5 minutes walk from my house, so in the next few days I’ll take them over.

I’m so excited that other people will get to enjoy some really good books I’ve read. I do feel a little guilty that a charity is losing out on a little money there, but I’m supporting my local library. There’s something about that which makes me feel warm and fluffy ūüôā

Ok, so that wasn’t finally. I’ve got more to say. In our kitchen, we have a shelf above the sink. It’s mostly filled with saucepans, frying pans, and a wok, but right at the end I’ve had a stack recipes. Unfortunately not in a book, but lots of loose papers. Each time I see a recipe online I like, I print it out. Or in a magazine, I cut it out. Or at a friend’s house I copy¬†it down. Or sometimes I make¬†one up, and if¬†it goes well, I write¬†it down. There’s a¬†BIG pile of loose recipe sheets.

Or should I say there WAS. Tonight I put them in a folder. I separated¬†them to Sweet and Savoury, and then alphabeticalised¬†(possibly my made up word, I thought I had a better one, but can’t remember it!) them. So proud of myself.

That’s probably enough book talk for one night. Have I procrastinated enough tonight so it’s now too late to do any editing? I don’t think so. That’s both good and bad.

No, just time for one more thing! You know, just to make sure it IS too late for editing!

I went to Waterstones in Piccadilly today to buy tickets to a couple of author events. Maggie O’Farrell at the end of this month, and Lauren Oliver next. Very excited about both, but LAUREN OLIVER!!! Author of Before I Fall, one of my favourite books of 2012,¬†and top 5 ever; and Delirium, which I read the other weekend, and stopped me doing anything else. Words cannot explain how excited I am about that!

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Feeling Good

I had one of those really horrible Mondays at work. Loads of people had complaints, I didn’t really know how to deal with some, and didn’t want to deal with the others. People kept interrupting me, and then I had to go to another site and wait for a telephone engineer. Thought that would have been ok, but my internet wasn’t working well, so it¬†took me about 20 minutes to write a 3 line email. RAR!

In the end I decided to give up at 4.30pm. I left the engineer on site, and went home, with the plan to do half an hour more work when I got home to make up for leaving early.

I got home and started the long process of dying some clothes. I’ve never done it before, so was pretty scared (still am). I had to wash the clothes, dye them, then wash them again. After the dye they looked awesome (just re-dying some faded black clothes, but they looked awesome and BLACK again – woop!). I now need to take them out the machine and wash¬†the machine¬†again. Without clothes, to get rid of any residual dye. I’m scared the black on the rubber is going to stain – worrying as 1) we live in a rented flat, and 2)¬†the machine is¬†almost brand new. Ah well. My black cardigan is black again ūüôā

So, then tonight got good. I found a link to an author event (only Lauren Oliver, whose novel Before I Fall was one of my favourites of last year, and Delirium, her second, I read in 1 day last weekend), which I knew I had to go to, so I emailed off to get a space on it. Then I remembered I hadn’t emailed about the Maggie O’Farrell one at the end of the month, so I did that. Then, seeing as I was booking my diary up, I went through the RNA events listing page to work out which events¬†I could go to.

I dropped an email to my friend Laura, who’s also a member of the RNA (New Writers’ Scheme like me) to encourage her to come too (not as easy as she’s not in London). I’m really pleased that I’ve now got a whole load of writing events in my calendar for the next few months. That, along with the work course I’m doing at the¬†end February and most of March, I’m going to be mega busy! Can’t wait!

I then spent a lot of time on LinkedIn looking through people I know, and inviting them to be, well, LinkedIn. Then I did some work emails, thus catching up on when I left early.

I felt like tonight was going really well, and it was only 9pm.

Then, I planned to do some editing. OK, I admit it, I’m not editing yet, I’m reading and noting how the story goes – plotting in reverse.¬†This will show me what I’ve done and where I’ve gone so I know what¬†what works, what doesn’t, so what needs to stay in, what needs to be removed and what needs to be added. Yesterday I was on (double line spaced,¬†printed A4) page 94. I’ve got 150 pages altogether.

Instead of this,¬†I got dragged (by myself) into cleaning the bathroom. It’s now spotless. And it was still only 9.30pm (it’s a tiny bathroom, I just faff!).

Then I started the ‘editing’ process. And now I’m another 12 pages down, and you know what? I’m feeling pretty good about the story. On the whole, it’s working. There’s a lot that needs to be added, some that needs to be taken away, but for a first draft (and for one that was mainly¬†written in NaNo), it’s ok.

It’s when I get a little further and I have a decision of which way to take it, I’m going to get stuck. I went one way, but I think maybe it was the wrong one. I’m not sure. I guess I’ll have to just see. I think if I plot from when it could go either way, to the end, I should be able to see which works better.

I hope.

I’ll tell you what is terrible though. My spelling, grammar and punctuation. But, I wrote it as I was going along, I didn’t let myself go back and read it, or even look at it, so things like that will be bad. They’ll get better in the edits, once I’ve sorted the big problems. Plus, my mum did a proof reading course last year, she’ll sort it out for me.

This editing process has made me realise how much I must have written in December 2011. I wrote just over 50k for NaNo, and yesterday I read the bit where I finished NaNo. I know it was that bit, because I had a small amount of time left in the NaNo writing event, and I really wanted to get it done that night (28th I think). I stopped punctuating, I stopped speach marks, I changed names to letters… and it worked because I finished with just 1 minute to go that night. Phew! Editing it is going to be a pain though.

That was yesterday though, I’ve still got another 50 pages to write. Out of 150 pages, 2/3 were written in NaNo. December must have been a good month! Maybe I did some early last year, I can’t remember. Still, I’ve written loads more than I thought, after NaNo. Yay!

So there we are. I’ve done all this tonight, and written a blog, and it’s still only 10.40pm. I feel like I should treat myself to something to celebrate? I’m thinking maybe starting to read a new novel? I can’t let myself do that though. I need to concentrate my reading on my novel, not someone else’s. What else could I treat myself to? Not food (I haven’t mentioned I’ve been ‘fasting’ today. I didn’t manage 500 cals, but 715. Not great, butnot terrible). Maybe I’ll go wash up.

Rock and roll kids!

Nearly forgot. Laura from Novelkicks said tonight that she loved my review of The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes and will be posting it on the website soon. My second review. Yes!

It’s been a great evening!

Last Week

It’s the end of January this week. The beginning of Feb. I can’t believe it. We’re now 28 days into the year. 28. How has that happened? Time is going so fast.

Which is a brilliant excuse for not doing much this week. So little.

No editing. No writing course. No completed book¬†reviews (although I started 2 which is good, not as good as completing, but still good). I managed to get in 2 check-ins for ROW80 (this counts as yesterday’s check in!), 2 fasting days for my 5:2 Diet AND burn 600 calories. Not everything is bad then.

What I did do, is read a book. I actually read it yesterday, as in that’s pretty much all I did yesterday. Oops. It was Lauren Oliver’s Delirium, it was brilliant, totally gripping.

It means that things really can only get better. To get better than this week, I’m keeping my goals the same:

7 hours editing my novel (granted I’m not as far as editing, I’m at reading draft 1 stage)

2 hours on my writing course

2 book reviews

2 ROW80 Check-ins

Burn 1500Kcal in addition to normal walking to work etc.

2 fasting days for my diet

That’s it. And this week, this week, I’m going to do better. I’ve got a really busy week, but I’m going to make time to the things I need to be diong. With January pretty much down, I’ve got a month less before I have to get my novel to the RNA for review. I can’t¬†do¬†what I usually do and leave things till the last minute with this, this¬†is too¬†important to¬†me. So this week, will be my week.

2013 Reading Challenge – TBR Pile Challenge

Here’s my second reading challenge for 2013.

TBR Pile Challenge.

I failed this last year, and you know how I hate to fail. This year, I’m determined to complete it.

For this challenge you have to read 12 novels in 2013 from your TBR Pile (physical pile, or just on your list). The great thing is that they have to have been on your list for more than a year (so have a published date of 2011 or before).

You also have to list the books NOW that you’re going to read (plus you can have¬†2 alternatives, if you really can’t get through any). Last year I went through my shelf and chose books that I physically had. This year, I want¬†to add books that I’ve been meaning to read, I just haven’t¬†bought¬†yet (or borrowed from the library of course).

I didn’t read 4 of the 14 last year (including the alternatives). I’m not going to add all of them back on – 1 I realised was a sequel, and I’ve not read the first, and the other I’m not really interested in any more. I’ll add the other two though.

Here’s my list then. As I read and review, I’ll come back to this page and link to the review. In December I’ll (hopefully) do a review blog where I link them all again, and successfully complete the challenge for the year. My 14 books for this year are:

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell (was on the 2012 list, but I never got to it)

A French Affair by Susan Lewis (ditto)

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Build A Man by Talli Roland

Animal Farm by George Orwell

The Liar’s Lullaby by Meg Gardiner

and the 2 alternatives

Flash Forward by Robert J Sawyer

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games trilogy, book 2) by Suzanne Collins.

To be honest, I really want to read all of them, so you never know. I’m also doing the Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge, so¬†a couple of these will work for both, which will be good.

Now, I really want to start on the list. My problem is… which first. Good luck to everyone else doing this challenge this year. I can’t wait to see what you’re reading.

A Little Bit of Writing, And A Little Bit About Books

I was planning on getting 1k words done over the weekend. I wasn’t really sure how I was going to fit it all in, but I knew I had to – if I didn’t, I thought I was never going to get back into the habit of writing regularly.

By Monday afternoon, I’d not written anything. Poo. But I decided to write while I was cooking dinner and uploading photos to Facebook (have you noticed how long it’s now taking? Over an hour yesterday!!!). Not an ideal situation, but I have to take what I can get! I sent the boyfriend upstairs to watch TV and set about writing the scene I’ve been doing the last few weeks.

By the time dinner was ready, I was 615 words better off. Not¬† the 1,000 I wanted, but not a bad effort. We then had to travel back down to London, so I couldn’t do anything else.

Today, I decided I didn’t need to go out for lunch, that I’d get some from the canteen upstairs, and then do some writing. 358 words later I’m done.

It means I’ve still not reached the 1k total I wanted over the weekend, but it does mean I’m 973 words closer to writing those magic little words ‘The End.’ I need to be positive about it, not negative, so I’m giving myself a pat on the back!

I’d like to try to get some more done tonight, but I’m going out for dinner, then when I get in there’s loads of washing and stuff to do from the weekend. I’m not making excuses, I’m just being realistic! I’m also out for dinner tomorrow night, so I’ll try to get some writing done at lunch again.¬†I may have to pop out though to do some dry cleaning and stuff, but I’m sure I can get in 10 minutes or so.

If I can do that tomorrow and Thursday, I’ll be somewhere near a regual pattern and that’s nothing but good!

And on to books.

I’ve just read something that reminded me Lauren Oliver’s Delirium was out in paperback at the beginning of the month. I read Before I Fall last year in prep for writing a YA novel for NaNo, and loved it. I know I say that about a lot of books, but I loved it enough to keep it rather than passing on to a friend, or giving to charity or something. I don’t do that with many books.

I knew then that I’d read anything else that Lauren Oliver wrote. Hence my now excitement that Delirium is out in paperback (incase you don’t know, I hate hardbacks, I find them way too hard to read, and way too heavy to carry around everywhere, which is what I do)

The only problem with this is that I’m still on the A to Z Challenge. I’m now on letter R. That means I have 8 1/2 books to read before the end of the year to complete it, and only really 3 months to do it (I generally don’t let myself read anything in November – I don’t really think I have time to NaNo and to read). That really means that I don’t really have anytime to read anything else. Damn. Maybe I’ll ask for it for Delirium for Christmas and it will be one of my first books next year to read.

But honestly, I don’t want to have to wait unit next year to read it. I hate this challenge ūüė¶

More importantly than the A-Z challenge goal, is my ‘Holiday ‘ goal. It’s pretty much 2 months until NaNo, which means I have pretty much two months to finish the novel. Writing 615 words a week¬† (only 808 last week!) really isn’t going to get me there is it!

Will try harder this week. Honestly!