Tag Archive | reading

ROW80 Sunday Check In

Hi!

I read an article today which was rating the days of the week. Sunday was 4th out of 7. It’s good, but towards the end, you feel the life sucking out of you, as you realise you have work tomorrow. Yep, I’ve got that feeling. I had so much I wanted to do this weekend, and I feel like I’m heading into another week, with hardly any of those things done.

I have had a nice relaxing weekend, so all good.

Only I’ve not touched my novel – so BAD! BAD BAD BAD. I knew I wouldn’t yesterday as I had plans, but I really wanted to today. I don’t even have an excuse. Again.

Anyway, I had a quite a few goals for this week. This is how I got on with them:

2x runs, 2x 20 minute + walks, 2x 10 minute walks (getting off the tube a stop earlier): I’ve done 3 (THREE), runs (woo hoo), and 2x 10 minute walks. Not good, but that extra run is brilliant.

Print off another section of The Man of My Dreams. I’ve got another 12 pages, that I know about. Maybe the missing bits are in those 12 – I think I’ve got more missing than that though. I found a whole load more than just those 12 pages.

Read said 12 pagesI read all 12 pages, and most of the rest I found. I’ve still got some to read through, but I’ve maybe read 30 pages this week. That’s good.

Find the missing pages of The Man of My Dreams (pray they’re on the hard drive). Print more. I’ve not done this as I had found more that were printed. I need to find the rest (still got my fingers crossed for the hard drive).

Read more. As above, I read about 30.

Start with sticky notes of plot points etc. Um. No. That was my plan for today that didn’t get fulfilled. 

Fast twice: I managed once. I started on Thursday too, but had a really long tiring day, and didn’t have the patience or anything to think about fasting, or cooking. I had half a baguette with ham for dinner. Oh dear.

2 book reviews, one for here, one for Novelkicks. I’m hanging my head in shame. Nope, neither.

I’d like to come up  with some great excuses,  but I don’t have any new ones – work was still busy, I’m still exhausted.

I hope this week I’ll finish a couple of things which should lead to a small respite in the craziness. Small.

My goals for this week are almost the same as last week:

2x runs, 2x 20 minute + walks, 2x 10 minute walks (getting off the tube a stop earlier)

Find the missing pages of The Man of My Dreams (on the hard drive??). Print them.

Read 10 pages I currently have, and ones I will hopefully find. 

Start with sticky notes of plot points etc. I started this way back, last year, the year before? But I’ve put them in a note book, rather than up. They’re no where near complete. I’ve got blue butterflies and hot pink squares. That’s pretty cool right – should give me a push! Hope boyfriend won’t mind me decorating the bedroom walls/mirror again!

Fast twice – at least – I also managed this last week! Up until today, I’d lost weight. I need to stop weighing myself daily!

2 book reviews, one for here, one for Novelkicks.

Fingers crossed for this week. Good luck with your goals, whether doing ROW80, or if you’re just setting yourself goals.

My Week Reviewed

I’m almost ashamed to post my achievements this week – there are none. I had one goal for the week, ONE and I didn’t even achieve that.

Up to now, my weekly goals have been to spend some time over 3 days, reading my novel, to blog (ROW80 check-in), to write a book review, and to do some exercise. This week, I can’t remember why, but I just set myself the goal of editing. My boyfriend was away, so I’d planned to come home and work on the novel, not turn on the TV, not do anything, but read, read, read. Not too hard eh? Uh, wrong. Lets look at my excuses… uh… reasons.

With boyfriend away from Wednesday, I planned to start on Wednesday.

London had tube strikes Wednesday and Thursday. The tubes on my normal way to work, weren’t running where I needed them to, or on my back up, or last resort way. I had to find another way there, and back. Getting there wasn’t too bad, but on Wednesday, I didn’t want to risk getting stuck, so I thought I’d walk part way home (I work about 10km from home, walkable, but not the whole way, on my own at night, and not with my laptop, or in the evening). I walked about 3/4km then got the tube. When I got home it was late. I ate and crashed in front of the TV, exhausted – no energy for editing/reading (note, had I have had exercise as a goal, that would be a win!).

On Thursday, I stayed at work until 8pm. Got home at 9.30pm, no way I was going to do anything then. Friday I had dinner plans.

Saturday, I found a novel I started reading – Undreamed by Paul Western’Pittard – and COUDLN’T PUT IT DOWN. I’m not exaggerating. I started reading it at 10am, had to get up to (poorly) clean the flat (for a viewing, but I was hung over, so it was very poor), then sat back down with it. I made food, but while I ate it, and the whole rest of the day, I read it until I finished. It was brilliant. If you’ve not heard of it, go look now here. Buy, read. You won’t regret it. I love psycholgical thrillers – this reminded me a lot of one of my favorite books – Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson.

Anyway, by the time I’d finished it on Saturday, it was pretty much bedtime, no time for anything else.

Today, I realised that I don’t have any paper at home, so couldn’t print off the next bit of my novel to read – classic excuse eh.

It’s not all that bad. I read 20 pages on my journeys  on Thursday and Friday, I just wanted to do more.

I have found that there’s a lot missing from the version I’ve printed off. I think I probably saved different sections as different files. I hope, because otherwise I’ve lost some. I hope it’s on my boyfriend’s external hard drive. Tomorrow, I’ll get paper, and check. Fingers crossed please.

Another reason this week wasn’t all bad, is that I nearly missed my tube stop TWICE because I was so into the novel. That’s good, right.

I need to thank Laura for sending me texts from ‘my novel.’ Had she not done this, I’m sure the week would have been a total disaster. She reminded me about it. Thanks buddy!

I still wish I’d put exercise on my goals list last week – I went for a run today, and I’ve been kind of doing my own 30 day squat challenge. Ish. It is exactly as what it sounds like, 30 days of squats (with breaks every 4/5 days for rest). I don’t know the exact number of squats you’re supposed to do, but I’ve been doing them while I clean my teeth almost daily. Not too bad. I also did a lot of walking.

Goals for this week:

2x runs, 2x 20 minute + walks, 2x 10 minute walks (getting off the tube a stop earlier)

Print off another section of The Man of My Dreams. I’ve got another 12 pages, that I know about. Maybe the missing bits are in those 12 – I think I’ve got more missing than that though.

Read said 12 pages. 

Find the missing pages of The Man of My Dreams (pray they’re on the hard drive). Print more.

Read more. 

Start with sticky notes of plot points etc. I started this way back, last year, the year before? But I’ve put them in a note book, rather than up. They’re no where near complete. I’ve got blue butterflies and hot pink squares. That’s pretty cool right – should give me a push! Hope boyfriend won’t mind me decorating the bedroom walls/mirror again!

Fast twice – at least – I also managed this last week! Up until today, I’d lost weight. I need to stop weighing myself daily!

2 book reviews, one for here, one for Novelkicks.

I think that’s very achievable. Here’s to a good week – this will be my best week this year, who am I kidding, since NaNo 2012, if I achieve everything!

2013 Reading Challenges Results

In 2013 I signed up to do two reading challenges – Roof Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge and The Crafty Book Nerd’s Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge. Did I succeed? Lets see.

TBR Pile Challenge:

This was the second year I signed up for this. Year one I failed, and unfortunately year two I failed too. I think the problem was that I carried some books over from the first year, and with the competition of other newer books, and them being sat on my list for over a year, I didn’t have the want to read them. That, and I tried some, and couldn’t get there with them. At the beginning of 2013, I had to chose 12 books, and 2 alternatives. This is the list, and how I got on:

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell (on 2012 list). Fail. It’s so long. It would have taken up so much time. I want to read it, I really do, but it’s so long…

A French Affair by Susan Lewis (on 2012 list). Fail. I think I picked it up at some point to read it, but never got there. It’s not even back on the shelf now. No idea what happened to it.

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. Fail. I tried this though. I tried and tried, but I just didn’t get it. It bored me. I want to try it again – people rave about it, it’s a classic. Maybe I missed something. I’ll try again.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Fail. I didn’t even look at it.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver. READ. Finally, a pass. I loved it. Can’t wait to read the final in the series.

One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner. READ. Yes, that’s two. Good book. Enjoyed it.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. READ – three. It was ok, I enjoyed it. I’m not sure if I’ll read any others in the series though.

Build A Man by Talli Roland. READ (I’m on a roll here – four). Read it, enjoyed it.

Animal Farm by George Orwell. Fail. Didn’t even look at it.

The Liar’s Lullaby by Meg Gardiner. READ (five). Brilliant. Love everything she writes. Brilliant.

and the 2 alternatives

Flash Forward by Robert J Sawyer. Fail. I thought about it a couple of times. It’s not near enough the top of the pile.

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games trilogy, book 2) by Suzanne Collins. READ. (six). Absolutely loved it. Can’t enough good things about it.

So there we go. 6 out of 12. That’s terrible. I think I read more in 2012. I’m disappointed in myself when I read so many books. If I do it again in 2014, none of the books listed here will be carried forward!

Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge:

I’ve done several versions of this over the years, and can’t for the life of me remember how I usually do on them, I feel like I ‘win’ them. This year I read:

1 – The Headhunters by Jo Nesbo (Brilliant, my new fav thriller author)

2 – Sister by Rosamund Lupton (A little werid, but very enjoyable, with a great twist).

3 – Stalkers by Paul Finch (Fantastic. Another fav author discovered).

4 – Safe House by Paul Finch (Great)

5 – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Brilliant, still can’t get over the ending).

6 – Say You’re Sorry by Michael Robotham (Brilliant, absolutely brilliant)

7 – Liar’s Lulaby by Meg Gardiner (for TBR challenge too – as I said, fantastic)

8 – The Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke (Great, really good, with brilliant ending)

9 – The Nightmare Thief by Meg Gardiner (see, I told you I loved her, Liar’s Lulaby was so good, I had to read another in the series almost straight after).

10 – The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriaty (really good, a little predictable, but great).

11 – Game by Anders de la Mott (Unexpectedly ace. Can’t wait for the next in the series).

12 – The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran (I’m not 100% sure it should be classed in this, but there was a mystery over the crash, so I’m using it) (Fab).

I did it. Yeah! Go me! However, I didn’t review any. Does that mean I fail? Hmmm…

As you can see from my comments, I chose some really good books this year (some were book club books, so not just my choices, and Game was sent by to me by the publisher, so not entirely chosen either). I really enjoyed this challenge again.

One out of two isn’t bad I guess. Now, for 2014 challenge(s)…

Another Week Gone – And We’re In February Kids

My end of/beginning of month blogs must be so boring, they’re so repetitive. But still, how is it February already?

January started off really well, with me reading through the first 84 pages of The Man of My Dreams in the first week, but then I failed, and did no more for the rest of the month. I have no excuses.

I’m hoping February is going to go better, and it’s starting pretty ok – I’ve just done the next 10 pages (30 minutes). It’s not a whole lot, and I got totally into it, so felt like I could have carried on going, but I want to do a blog, and I need to do some ironing, and want to watch another NCIS: Los Angeles.

One of the Sky channels is showing the first few series of it during the day. I made the mistake of series linking it, because I’d never seen or heard of it, and I love the original NCIS, so wanted to see what it’s about. What I didn’t realise was that they were showing 2 episodes a day – so the sky box got pretty full pretty quickly. And I didn’t notice.

It got to the point it was full and wouldn’t record any more. So we started watching it. And must admit got massively into it. Which is my very long way of saying this is what’s coming between me and this first read through of my novel.

Well, that and in the last week I’ve read 2 really, really good books (Deliruim by Lauren Oliver and Sister by Rosamund Lupton), and when I’m reading a good published book, it’s hard to make myself put that down and read my, rough, first draft novel. Very hard.

So, instead of picking up another novel, I’m not going to, and I’m going to crack on with reading mine. Of course it’s harder to read on the tube going to work, because it’s A4, it’s not stapled togetehr, and Im trying to make notes on it, but tough.

I had some goals for RWO80 this week, this is what they are and how I did, and why not throw in what I’m doing this week for a goal on each one too:

Edit TMOMD for 7 Hours: I’ve done half an hour today. It’s bad, but it’s better than nothing, which I’d done the last few weeks. Next week: 15 minutes editing a day. I’m reducing it to try to get me working on it. 15 minutes is so little, I could just start it and be done before I know. Hopefully though, starting 15 minutes will make me do more. It’s my test mile…

Writing course – 2 hours: None. Oops. Next week: Same, 2 hours over the whole week. Hoping one day I’ll hit this.

2 Book revies: Done. One on here – You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlene, and The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes for Novelkicks.co.uk. I’m not sure if the review of TGYLB is suitable for NK, it’s got a lot of me in it, so maybe it should be on here. I’ll let Laura decide. Next week: I’m still behind on reviews from last year, so lets say 2 again.

2 ROW80 Check-ins: Today, check, but missed Wednesday because I was out at my bookclub. Yes, I could have done it when I got in, but didn’t. I’ll try harder next week. And, Next week’s goal: 2 check ins.

Burn 1,500 calories (on top of normal walking to work etc): I haven’ t worked this out yet. It won’t be 1,500 calories though. Maybe just below 1,000? Don’t know. Next week: 1,500 calories again, including 1x visit to the gym.

3 fasting days for diet: I only managed one. Next week, just 2 days.

And one additional goal for next week:

Social Media: Visit other ROW80 blogs, and reply to my comments on here.

My ROW80 buddy Laura tried to push me to write on Friday, but I was out in the pub. This week, I’m going to get in the habit of checking in with her, someone to be responsible to each day helps me to write, or in this case, hopefully edit.

My First ROW80 Check In of 2013

This first check in feels way too early. Usually the weekly gap is Sunday to Wednesday, but goals were written on Monday, so it’s been a day less. I wrote my goals Monday night, so only 48 hours. I haven’t done anything tonight either, so really only 1 day. He he.

Here are my goals and how I’m doing with them:

7 hours working on TMOMD: I worked on it last night, for maybe an hour. It’s not a lot, but it’s probably the most important – the first one. I’ve started on it. WOO HOO. OK, so I’m only reading and making notes, but it’s a start. A START!

7 hours working on my writing course: Nothing, yet.

1 book review on here, and one for Novel Kicks: Neither, yet.

2 Check in blogs: This is one, second will be Sunday.

Decide on reading challenges for the year and blog about them: Complete. I’ve decided to do The Crafty Book Nerd’s Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge and Roof Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge. I’m really excited about them.

Burn 1500 Kcals through exercise (above normal walking to/from work): So far I’ve burnt about 400, walking between my office buildings. I was planning on being much higher by today, but I had a migraine on Monday, which stopped me going to the gym, then I still wasn’t feeling great yesterday. Tomorrow I hope will be the day, maybe Friday because  it will be quieter.

2 fasting days: Today is the first. I’ve just craved in and had a chocolate bar, which means iI’ve had 600 cals today. I’m a little annoyed with myself, I really was trying for 500, but I’m still proud of myself.

It’s not all good, but it’s certainly not all bad, so I’m happy. Here’s to the rest of the week.

2013 Reading Challenge – Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge

I’ve decided to do 2 reading challenges this year. This is the first, the other I blogged about last night – TBR Pile Challenge (although it seems I added my link to the site too late, so I’m not sure I’m going to be in the competition, if not, I’ll just do it for myself!). 

I’m sure I don’t need to say anything more, so I’ll just jump in to the details:

2013 Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge.

For the last three years, I’ve done variants of this on Book Chick City, but they don’t seem to be doing it this year, so time to find another one (I can’t even contemplate not doing it, I love it so much). Luckily The Crafty Book Nerd is here to save the day with the 2013 Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge – woop!

This is slightly different to the previous ones I’ve done, in that you don’t have to specify how many books you’re going to read, but the more you read, the higher level you get. Levels go from Detective (5 books) to Sherlock Holmes (30+ books). I’m going to aim for Lieutenant (15 books) or maybe even Captain (20 books – may be pushing it a little).

This is such a successful challenge idea. So far 62 people have signed up. I’ve kind of cheated a little, in that I’ve already read one novel this year. Figure it’s not really cheating, I always knew I was going to do this, I just hadn’t written the blog yet!

Good luck anyone joining in.

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.