New books, reading, and reviews

Finally, after waiting for what seemed like an eternity, I received my latest package from Amazon, the Divergent box set. I get excited every time I buy a new book. I’m like a kid on Christmas morning, ripping open the box, inhaling the new book aroma, and basking in the aura of its splendor.

I could have ordered the books on my Kindle and had them available immediately, but sometimes I really like having the books in my hand. E-books are great, and I’ve read many books on my reader, but having an actual book is something that cannot be replicated on the glow of an LCD screen. Some may disagree, but they’re wrong. It’s possible I’m showing my age.

The books are resting peacefully on my desk, waiting for me to break into its pages, losing myself to an adventure unknown. I can’t wait to discover what secrets lie in the pages, written by a writer hoping to gain an audience. I think she succeeded, and the first movie comes out later this month. I want to at least read the first book before seeing the movie.

The only thing stopping me is a prior commitment. I have a book I need to read for next Monday’s book review, my last scheduled one. After that, I’ll be free to read it at my leisure. For now, I have to read The Trinity, the last book of the Fall of Venus Trilogy, after which I’m not going to review books on a regular basis anymore. I’ll do one occasionally, when the mood strikes me, but two a month burned me out.

Now, I can return to reading for my enjoyment again. That’ll be nice for a change, but I have to say, I did get to read a lot of good books while I was at it. I’ll continue to post occasionally, but I have my own book that needs attention, and life is urging me to get back to living, too.

That’s it for this Monday. I hope you have a great week and I’ll see you next time!

Just chillin’ n readin’

I’m stuck at home on a Saturday night. Typical. It’s actually not a bad thing. I have a new book review coming out on Monday, for Daelynn Quinn’s book, Crimson Return, the second book of the Fall of Venus trilogy. I’m three-quarters of the way through with the book, and I plan to finish it before I go to bed tonight.

Work on my own book is progressing slowly. I’m not having any luck writing at home, so yesterday I left the nest and drove to Amarillo, set myself up at a coffee shop, and wrote for a couple of hours. It’s not nearly enough, but it’s a start.

Seriously, writing can be a chore sometimes, but all the worthwhile activities usually are. It’s those who acknowledge that fact, and persevere in spite of the grind that achieve their goals. I want to be one of those people, someone who can say I accomplished my goal.

Tonight, I will finish reading my book so that I can post my review as promised. I’m enjoying the book and I can’t wait to share my thoughts on it. If you haven’t already, check out my review to Fall of Venus, and come back on Monday!

Telling you about my first time

all's well that inks well

all’s well that inks well (Photo credit: b1gw1ght)

Today starts the first week of my break between classes. I have three weeks to do nothing resembling anything academic. Just me and my computer, television, and maybe a few good books. As soon as my new book arrives, I’ll begin to read it for next month’s book review.

Of course I’m going crazy, obsessing over what my grades will ultimately be. So far it appears as though I’m going to pull straight A’s, but it’s not definitive. As soon as I know I’ll drive you crazy with my pathetic display of self-congratulatory behavior. I’m stretching as we speak to give myself a hearty and well-deserved pat on the back. I don’t want to pull anything as I contort myself awkwardly.

But while I wait, I did something last night that I’ve been toying with for a long time, but finally worked up the nerve to do; I submitted a short story for publication. To be honest, I think this rates higher on my “Hurray!” scale than my grades so. I finally did it!

Okay, I know this doesn’t seem like too big a deal. People submit short stories, essays, and novels everyday. What is a big deal, at least for me, is that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I sent my first submission. Now all I have to do is wait the appropriate amount of time to receive my first rejection.

Hey! Think positive! Yeah I can practically hear you screaming at your computer screens. I am thinking positive. I’m thinking I’m going to hear a response. Joking aside, although I really do hope they decide to publish it for me, I’m okay if they pass on my piece. I think I expanded my boundaries just by filling out the form and sending my story “Letting Go” to Agni Online. Everyone has to start somewhere and this is my start. And if they do reject it, I’ll send it to another site. Try, try again, as they say.

I’m also working on a short creative nonfiction essay that I plan to submit to Hippocampus Magazine. My essay chronicles my struggle with depression after the turmoil of my divorce up to leaving my job and spending a year unemployed. It’s set on my first day back to school, thirteen years after I dropped out. It’s nowhere near completed, and I’ll probably obsess for a few weeks before I submit it, but we’ll see where it takes me.

And finally, I still have to finish my rewrite of my novel. Once I’m done, I can evaluate where I am there. I’ll probably have to do another rewrite (and then another) before I’m satisfied letting this one out into the world. As you can tell, I plan to spend a good part of my time off writing. I let my classes get in the way of writing so I have a lot of time to make up. Then my last class will start next month and I may temporarily lose track of writing again, and that’s okay. By July I should be done and then I’ll be able to move forward in my life.

Hopefully I’ll also have a published story to go along with my sheepskin. I hope, I hope, I hope!

They’re here…. I’m talking about my book order

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What a day! I went in to work for a few hours – I work in the paint department at a home improvement retailer – before leaving for class. Business is brisk at the moment so when I’m working I’m usually busting my butt trying to take care of everyone, but it feels good. I’m not a manager nor am I a supervisor, I’m just a worker and it feels nice not being in charge. It’s temporary but at least it gets me out into the workforce again.

So I worked four hours today before leaving for class. I was worn out from all the action so I was a bit zombified in class. Nothing to report there except for a dead brain. It’s coming back online as I type this.

Now I’m home. I spent a bit of time wondering what I was going to write about. My exhaustion? Okay, but that can be done in one sentence. I’m tired. See? A short sentence, a subject and an intransitive verb. Damn! Maybe I picked up something in class after all. Cool beans.

Still it’s nothing to write about, but then I got home and I saw that my books were in. I ordered a few books a few weeks ago, the Hunger Game Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Council by Greg Tobin, and The Bridge by Allan Krummenacker. I received The Bridge last week and I’m half-way through it. The other two were waiting for me when I got home from work and school. Huzzah!

I’ve already read The Hunger Games, but I want a copy for myself so I can read it again. Council is a sequel to his novel Conclave, which I read years ago. All in all, I have a good deal of reading waiting for me. I love reading. It relaxes me, especially when I have to time actually read and relax. Preferably in a hot bath.

The next few weeks will be a bit on the hectic side, but it’ll be okay. I have a lot to do, but on the other side of this semester I will have a prize waiting for me. Come to think of it, I may not have enough books. Perhaps I should order a few more. I still have J. K. Rowling’s novel, The Casual Vacancy to read. While I’m at it, I may as well reread The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I enjoyed her book tremendously.

This is the good life.

The one where I think about doing book reviews

BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS

BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS (Photo credit: jm3)

Too much to do and so little time? Welcome to the end of the semester! I know I have nothing to complain about, and in contrast to the utter boredom I suffered mere months ago, this is a very welcome change.

I have a few projects staring me in the face, and although it’s crunch time, I’m not sweating it. Not yet at least. My lowest grade at the moment stands at 89.68%. I’m sure I can raise that to a 90. So unless I have a complete meltdown in the next few weeks, I am sure I can make the Dean’s List. I’m not counting on it, though. I still have work to do to make it happen.

In addition to my course load, the too few hours I’m spending at the place of my employment, and my writing, I’m thinking about starting another project. I am considering doing a monthly book review. My plan is to review only self-published novels. The next part is how to choose which books to review.

My goal is twofold. One, I want publicize unknown authors and get their works seen by people who might not otherwise have a chance to come across those works. Secondly, I want to improve my own abilities to critique other literary works, and in the process improve my own ability to write. I know, I know, it’s always about me isn’t it?

I’m still not entirely sure I’m going to do this. I have had many grand ideas that never came to fruition and this may be another one of those failed ideas. We’ll see. I already have a book in mind for my first review and if the tracker on Amazon is to be believed, it just left Hebron, KY. I should have it in a few days. What I don’t know is when I’ll do the review.

I have a few technicalities to work out, as in how I’ll post it. I’ll post it on here on my blog, but probably not on the blog feed. I’ll start a new page solely for book reviews with a link on the menu bar on the top. I’ll have to figure out the how later.

Right now I need to get back to work. I have Grammar class in less than an hour and we will have a quiz. Yay! Ugh….  At least the semester is almost over. I just don’t know if I’ve learned anything there. Oh well, education ho!