Readathon – April 2017

 

It’s time for Dewey’s Read-A-Thon! I’m keeping track of my progress here and posting on Twitter and maybe a little on Instagram whenever there is an update.

Scroll down for mini-challenges.

Here’s the physical stack. I’ve got a few more on my Kindle and a couple of audiobooks.

Goals: 1000 pages. I had a LOT of holds waiting for me at the library, many of which I’d been waiting months for. A lot of them are new or popular so I won’t be able to renew and it would be great to finish a couple of those.

Pages read: 617
Titles finished during Read-A-Thon: 2

Reading:
The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante (252pgs – Finished)
Beast by Brie Spangler (305pgs – Finished)
Fables #1 (60pgs)

Updates

7:00am – Stayed in bed a little longer this morning, but started listening to an audiobook around 6:45, as soon as my alarm went off. I’ve got hosting duties in a few hours so it’ll probably be audio only this morning 👍

10:00 – Hosting and listening to TSoaNN 😊

11:19 – Hosting duties are done for the day! I’ve got a mini-challenge later and a few things to take care of before that happens, but I think I’m going to start another book soon just to mix it up a little.

1:00pm – Finished listening to a chunk of TSoaNN and found a good place to stop so I can move on to something else for a bit. Starting History of Wolves. I just picked it up off the shelf at the library yesterday because I liked the cover, and then the description sounded great. Starting it now.

4:30 – I lied. Haven’t started History of Wolves. Finished TSoaNN instead. WOW, that’s a book. If you haven’t jumped on the Neapolitan quartet, seriously, do it now!

1:30am – Headache derailed my plans a bit today so most of my reading was listening. Still worked out okay. Beast is pretty good, but I sort of wish I hadn’t known the twist going in. Also read a little of Fables #1 and I’m going to take that to bed. This is my last update for the night.

Mini Challenges

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Norman, Oklahoma
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The one I’m reading now is pretty good, but probably History of Wolves.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I’ve got the makings of a great cheese and fruit plate.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I ghostwrite romances.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? How many readathons is this for me? A lot. Today I’m just enjoying the reading while taking care of hosting and mini-challenge duties.

40 Reasons Why I Write

This morning Marisa shared her own reasons for writing and pointed back to the challenge that Bryan Hutchinson at Positive Writer started. I thought it would be a great exercise for me to sit down and contemplate why I write, so I minimized Marisa’s post and didn’t read any further so I could go into my own list without any other influences and share it here.

Here we go. Forty reasons why I write.

  1. It comes naturally to me.
  2. I love stories.
  3. I believe I was born for it. This is the thing I have to give the world.
  4. It gives me a sense of freedom.
  5. I feel accomplished when a story is done.
  6. I feel frustrated, but inspired to work through it, when I am stuck in a story.
  7. To illuminate truth and beauty.
  8. Honestly? Because I have a deadline.
  9. I see stories everywhere.
  10. The mundane interests me because I feel like there is so much beneath the surface–this is what I want to share. Life and value in people/places/things that so much of the world forgets.
  11. It was one of the first things I realized I could do on my own.
  12. There is history to be recorded.
  13. I believe every voice has value.
  14. I want to be heard.
  15. I want to be appreciated.
  16. I would like to be famous for something and singing the B.C. Clark jingle didn’t work.
  17. I have been writing, or trying to, for as long as I can remember.
  18. As a child I wanted to read and practicing writing improved my reading.
  19. There were stories in my head from a young age and I wanted to put them on paper.
  20. I had a lot of notebooks.
  21. Writing opened the door to more complex, critical thinking.
  22. I communicate better through written words than speaking face to face.
  23. I feel most myself when I am writing.
  24. I like the community that surrounds it.
  25. It is rather solitary, but through writing groups I have learned a lot. Including which writing groups not to join.
  26. I love complex sentences.
  27. I feel like it’s a skill not so many people have anymore, for the most part because they don’t exercise it.
  28. My first kindergarten memory is the inflammation that turned into a callus on my middle finger. My teacher said it would go away when I wrote more. Twenty-seven years later, it’s still a little callused.
  29. I’m paid to write.
  30. I kept an almost daily journal for most of my life.
  31. Writing got me through rough times.
  32. Journaling was a door into more serious writing.
  33. People generally left me alone when I was writing (brothers, annoying boys sitting near me at school).
  34. I’m good at it.
  35. It’s something I own.
  36. I thrived on praise, and probably still do a little, and hearing my teachers compliment this skill was the encouragement I needed.
  37. I “told stories” when I was a kid. Only sometimes I framed them like they were real and wouldn’t say until the end that I had made it up. Writing things down instead of telling them meant I didn’t get in trouble for lying.
  38. My favorite book heroines were writers.
  39. Anne Shirley Blythe. Yes, she gets her own number on this list.
  40. I want to leave a mark.

Sunday Morning Coffee

Every Monday morning I wake up and realize that I didn’t do a list the day before. So here you go, the first one in 5 months. So much has happened in that span of time, but maybe I’ll get around to it later. For now here are some things I have read and enjoyed or that have made me think. (This morning I’m drinking a Mexican dark roast I picked up at Sprouts.)

Things I’m Enjoying:

  • We Were Made For These Times: “When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  • Roxane Gay: By the Book — If you do nothing else today, take the time to listen to Roxane read her story “North Country.” It is one of my favorites.
  • The best overlooked books of 2016, according to booksellers
  • Peaches, fiction by Georgia Jackson
  • Our Own Dolly Lama: “So I tell them, this life is a tough row for any girl. You may as well tease your hair and wear something shiny.” – Allison Glock
  • Leaving a Religion and a Marriage, and Gaining a Chicken Soup by Talia Levin — I’ve been really into soup lately (most recently made this one) and when this popped up in my email from The New Yorker I clicked on it, expecting a good soup recipe. There’s so much more here.
  • Resistance: the Mythos and the Logos

    This is another way of resistance, and it’s a resistance based on mythos. For those of us who live this way, it’s almost always based on a sense of individual calling, on a need to follow our own integrity and authenticity, on an inability to pretend to be what we are not. It might be a quieter form of resistance – though yes, from time to time we’ll come out of the forest and join the marches and add our voices to the voices of our brothers and sisters who have different skills and gifts.

    But here is our gift to the world: when the battle is finished and the enemies are quietened but the placards are broken and the houses have burned to the ground – we are the ones who will show you, stone by sharp-edged stone, how to build them up again from the foundations. We are the keepers of wisdom, the carriers of stories, the apprentices of the old crafts. When the blackbirds gather, we know what they are saying. It’s what we do; it’s who we are. We carry the resistance forward in our hearts and in our hands.