Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Forays in Fiction: NaNo Finish

Joy Renee
author of
Occupy Hope


When I finish gagging I might find something worth saying about this.....

I'm afraid to add anything to the image as I'm still feeling so conflicted.  Mostly negative.

I suppose it is fatigue for the most part.  But it my aversion to the mess and now I have nine of them.

Will that stop me from doing NaNo again next year?

I very much doubt it.

Positives:

A)  I finished in spite of this being the first time I had to fit it into a regular life where others were counting on me as I spent most of the month at my Mom's in Longview helping my sister who is her caregiver.  And Thanksgiving week I lost 4 full days (re writing) to travel and cleaning and repair chores at my house that my sister was helping me with.

All previous years since 2004 I was able to hole up in my room at my in-law's home where I was usually holed up anyway and spend any of the hours of the day except 5-7pm which was dinner and kitchen cleanup on anything I wanted.  My tendency was to fiddle at NaNo until mid month and end up still needing 30K or better with 10 days left.

I knew that would not work under the circumstances I was faced with this year so I set my mind to doing the steady plod instead of a series of sprints.  I credit the work I've been doing with ROW80 since April for preparing me for this endeavor and this success.

B) Also because of ROW80 I've got a protocol in place to prevent this 9th NaNo mess from sinking into the quagmire of my electronic files.

C) Um I thought there was a C point when I started but can't think what it was now.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that somewhere in that mess that makes me want to gag right now are some things I'm going to be grateful for when I go back in to clean up the file.

But that won't be until after the new year.


The next three weeks are going to be all about that Secret Santa crochet project--the crafter's tote--that has to be done before Christmas and which is so woefully behind I will now have to treat it like a full time job giving it 6 to 10 hour days until finished.  Starting tonight.

Lucky for my fiction endeavors tho--and also thanks to ROW80--crocheting has become intricately tied in to dreaming the story world with note taking materials near by so it will be a lot like NaNo with less word count and less focus on one story.  I will be dedicating one to two hours each day to my fiction and the rest to fiction fixes on Netflix and audio books both of which I gave up for NaNo.

Read more...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Full of It.

Just pulled ahead on NaNo.  Need only 1112 words to finish and could probably get them before I go to bed but don't know if I will.

The words are there but they are full of it.  There seems to be less story this year and more musing about the story.  More rambling, digressions, and more indigestion making messes.

Like something made in a pot with leftovers.

But the words are there.  So maybe I can make something of them eventually.

Yesterday I roasted a whole chicken in our new crock pot my sister got us and today I made chicken soup from the leftovers.  Added the leftover green beans from Thanksgiving dinner, the leftover baby carrots from our car snacks last week, the leftover noodles from Ed's Sunday spaghetti which was the meal that inaugurated the crock pot.  Salt, pepper, garlic power and jalapeno pickle juice to spice it.

While dishing it up I slopped a ladle full over the finger of my left hand holding the bowl up to the pot.  Good thing it had been on low for over an hour at that point.

I guess i'm going to have to stop holding the containers I am pouring or dishing hot stuff into.  The tunnel vision is now to the point I can't see the entire rim of a cup when holding it or the entire large ladle let alone the whole bowl.

I know this but I still prefer to hold the bowl up to the pot when dishing up things that might splatter or spill.  But I think wiping up a little mess would be preferable to putting up with fingers that feel sunburned for several days.  Or worse.

This is going to slow down the crocheting as the finger that controls the thread is affected and I'm sure is not going to love having that thread drug across it for hours on end.

Speaking of crochet.  I finished another of the 8 strips of 11 squares today on the Secret Santa project.  Was all excited until I got out the first one finished last October and discovered the second one is both narrower and shorter.  Shorter by over 4 inches which is supposed to be the size of the squares.

[Picture of Charlie Brown with wide open mouth.]  Arrrrrrrrrrgh!

This is the kind of problem that tends to make me set a project aside indefinitely but I do not have that luxury as I have to have it done by Christmas or even a few days before.  So one way or another I have to make this work inside of three weeks.

Just for kicks while taking pics of the soup I snapped this one of the coffee pot I talked about so much this week.  Almost didn't post it when I saw the smudges on it in the photo which I could not see on the pot itself.

That's typical of my eyes these days.  I see more in the photos taken of something then in the thing itself in real life.

So that's the coffee pot I brewed six tanks of cleaning solution and two tanks of plain water through on Monday.  This brought it back to life.  The dispenser had stopped working and so we had to take the grounds out of the top and lift the bucket out to pour coffee and this tended to make terrible messes all over the counter and stain the counter.  Ed had been planning to buy a new one but when my sister looked at it last week she thought maybe it only needed a good internal cleansing.

It wasn't good enough to just brew the cleaning solutions through and then dump the bucket though.  To fix the dispenser I also had to make it deliver the fluid into the cup. So for every full pot of 'brew' I pulled out two or three cups through the dispenser before dumping the bucket.  In thee beginning it took over fifteen minutes to fill a cup but by the end it took only 7 seconds.

Read more...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fixing Up, Cleaning Up and Catching Up

Nonskid safety strips and safety rail
installed on our porch by my sister
 I can't believe it was a week ago today we were traveling from Longview.  This last week has been a whirlwind beginning with the packing at Mom's last Monday and Tuesday.  Travel on Wednesday in which a 5.5 hour trip became a 9 hour trip plus unloading the car and sorting a couple dozen loads of laundry at midnight.

Thursday my sister took me to a laundromat and helped me run those loads which turned into a 7 hour job.  Then we had dinner at my house where my husband had sat with our Mom all afternoon.

Then Friday and Saturday, while my Mom and sister were in California, I spent unpacking from the month at Mom's, catching up on two missed NaNo days, catching up on a month of sharing with Ed, cleaning house and putting away that laundry.

Then Sunday and Monday my Mom and sister were back and my sister got out her tools and set to work on some needed fixes around our house.  Beginning with the bathroom sink which has not had hot water since we moved in last Christmas week.
 The problem had something to do with the cartridge inside the handle.  It took her half a dozen trips over to Home Depot with questions and photos taken with her ipad and at least one online search to get it figured out.

That was mostly fixed by Sunday night and then Monday morning she began on the porch steps to make them safer for me by adding non-skid strips that were also contrasting color to help me see the shape of the steps.  Because with my eyesight issues it looked a lot like a ramp though I knew it wasn't.

The cartridge inside the handle
where the problem was
She also installed a safety bar on the porch rail because the board was too wide for me to get my hand around and full of slivers when I tried to just slide my hand down it.  With the steps being unlevel I always felt off balance and at risk of falling when going up and down and not having something to grip.

This essentially kept me a prisoner in my own home when no one was available to escort me.

The photo at top was taken looking down from the porch towards the driveway.  She had also spray painted a bright white stripe on the edge of the asphalt to make it more visible.  As it was it had been a trip hazard for both me and Mom.

Meanwhile, on Monday while my sister worked I did too, using the cleaning supplies she had brought from Mom's or bought.  I spent most of Monday fixing a coffee maker we were thinking of throwing out by running cleaning solutions through it repeatedly for hours.  In the beginning the dispenser would fill a cup with sludge in fifteen or twenty minutes but by the end it filled a cup with clear water in 7 seconds.  It seems to be a keeper.

I got a lot of other kitchen cleanup done while waiting on those pots of cleaning solution to brew on Monday and more each day since.  I continue to unpack stuff I took to Mom's but have reached the point I only go after things I immediately need.  I'm returning again in January so some of it will stay where it is.

I started to tackle the bathroom today but got distracted.

Yesterday and today were dedicated to catching up on sleep, NaNo and the Secret Santa crochet project.

For NaNo I caught up! After missing four full days in the last week.

As for the crochet project, I'm far from caught up since  I have performed below expectations for over a month now.  This is going to become a five or six hour a day job as soon as NaNo is over Friday night.  Today I completed the 44th square leaving 44 to go.  Let's not even talk about the Mobius strip which I've not worked on for over a week now and was then only 2.5 of the hoped for 12 inches in width.

Read more...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

52nd ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
I'm doing things quite differently this round.  Since I joined mid Round 2 this year I have been using a blog-within-a-blog format for these check-in posts with updates stacked atop previous updates and commentary added under each goals section including a string of Ns and Ys for the five time investment goals.  This got quite unwieldy by mid round.

So now I've created a Google Doc Spreadsheet to keep track of the Ns and Ys and have set up a ROW80 page to feature the goals sans commentary.  These check-in posts will now contain only the commentary relating to the previous half week, a screenshot of the relevant lines on the spreadsheet and link to the spreadsheet and goals page.  And as of October 23 the READ CRAFT reading lists.


READ CRAFT:

Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff


Recently Read:

A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  Just finished this last month and wrote an overview of it for that next check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned..  This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.


In a recent Check-In I implemented a NEW GOAL:  before heading to bed, close all aps but the one I've chosen for free writing and when the time slated for that is up segue directly to working with the fiction files.

I established it after digesting the info in Duhigg's The Power of Habit and have followed through since the Sunday before November 1st now. See the nice new strings of Ys in the two relevant columns?

See my musings in last check-in post about my several encounters recently with the principle that clarity isn't arrived at through thought alone but via action--engagement in the non-abstract realm with the minutia, manipulation of the materials, or in other words 'just doing it' and how I'm attempting to apply it to my stalled out stories.

View the spreadsheet Google Doc directly
View the goals list
Sunday and Monday my Mom and sister were here again and as with the two days they were here last week I got zero on Nano and Ns for FICTION FILES.  My sister and her trusty tool box performed several small to huge tasks around the house.  She fixed the broken hot water faucet in the bathroom and installed a safety rail and skid-proof strips on our porch steps among other things.  She'd also brought or bought cleaning supplies and I busied myself using them repairing the effects of a husband's month long batching.

My main accomplishment Monday was running a number of solutions through our crusty coffee maker and then 'pouring' cups through its dispenser which started out dispensing cups of coffee colored crud every twenty minutes and after hours and hours began dispensing cups of clear water in 7 seconds.  That represented more than a month of neglect.  The machine was given to us by his folks when we moved and they'd replaced it with a smaller one when it started acting up.  I'd been after Ed to replace it but my sister thought it might just need to be cleaned inside where you can't see.

Today was a NaNo catchup day  I was cranky so my characters were cranky.  I thought my mood might stem from the stress of the last week and sadness at seeing my Mom and sister leave yesterday but when the wind started blowing about an hour ago I began to wonder if it had been my sensitivity to barometric pressure changes and that makes more sense actually.



Read more...

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Share what you (are, have been, are about to, hope to be) reading or reviewing this week. Sign Mr Linky at Book Journey and visit other Monday reading roundups.

Recently I implemented something I've seen on other blogs and found recommended during Blogiesta:  I've created a template for this meme post so that in the future I can more quickly put together my posts and readers can know what to expect and where to find the things they are most interested in.

The sections of this template:

Intro (here)
My Week in Review (list of books finished and links to bookish posts in the previous week)
Reading Now (my current reading list broken up into NF and Fiction)
Upcoming (scheduled reviews and blog tours and list of finished books awaiting reviews)
Recently (links to bookish posts in the last few weeks)
New Arrivals: (lists of recently acquired ARC broken up into snail mail, email and Net Gallery)
ARC in waiting (a list that is getting shamefully long)

My Week in Review:

can u bweev dis? sum nastee bug wawkd alovur evry payg
LOLz @cheezeburger.com: vote, caption LOLlygag
 I didn't finish anything new since last Monday nor have I posted any bookish posts.  This past week was all about preparing for the trip home from Mom's, the trip, stuff that happened once home and NaNo.  Because of the trip, and stuff that happened before, during and after I've had next to zero time for reading.

There was the audio book we listened to in the car on the trip last Wednesday but it was one my Mom and sister had been listening to when in the car for months and it was more than three quarters in when I started listening and then it didn't finish before we reached my house that night in spite of the drive lasting nearly twice the expect five hours.

The Walking Stick by Winston Graham was the book and my sister emailed me after they reached Gerber CA on Friday to say it had ended 'stupid.'  I was privately predicting that it would not have a happy ending.  It reminded me of those 1970s anti-hero movies where the main character has a major flaw that ends up turning them to the dark side and fate is usually unkind.

This is quite unlike my Mom's or my sister's taste so I suspect it was the blurb in the talking books catalog that hooked Mom into thinking she was getting a story of courageous living with disability as the story is about a woman who limps due to having had polio as a child and she uses a walking stick.  Then this shy, low-self-esteem young lady is charmed by a man whose affection, attention and appreciation become all important to her and she allows herself to be talked into helping with a jewelry heist at the place she is employed.

I'm still trying to decide how bad I need to know how it ends and if I need to know at all will it suffice to have my sister give me a shorthand version by email.  Or do I need to hunt it down in one of the libraries here or up there eventually and start it from the beginning.  I learned in my online search that they did make a movie of this story in the 1970s.  Maybe it will be on Net Flix.

I hope to get some reading in this week.  But I am behind on NaNo and on my Secret Santa crochet project and still have much unpacking to do and cleaning up after a husband who batched for a month during his busy season at work so I will have to squeeze it into the cracks.  Possibly I will get to listen more to the audio book A Discovery of Witches I started during the read-a-thon in October.

But A History of the Present Illness by Lousie Aronson one of my Net Gallery ebooks is going to time out on Dec 3 so I do hope to get some reading in it done this week so I'm not rushing through it next weekend.  And of course there is the NF that is part of my ROW80 goals that I would be plugging away at for a minimum of 30 minutes per day for the reading writing craft/publishing related books and articles.

Finished reading:

NADA

Reading Now:

Non-Fiction:

Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton (Part of my ROW80 reading in craft list)
Get Your Loved One Sober by Robert Meyers (Research for a fiction WIP)
What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
And So It Goes by Charles J. Sheilds a bio of Kurt Vonnegut.  (I've posted about this biography of Kurt Vonnegut several time in a kind of reading journal. It is past time for another.  Part of the fun I'm having reading this is in stopping to read the stories he wrote as the narrative reaches the point where he writes them.)
This Mobius Strip of Ifs by Mathias Freese (I've posted a reading journal post for this collection of personal essays also.  It is past time for another.)
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols

Most of these I plug way in at a snail's pace--a couple chapters per week as that is my preferred way to read non-fic.  It sticks with me longer. I'm closing in on the finish line for several but as I get close on one I tend to add two or three more. There are some not listed here because I don't read in them weekly.

Fiction:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness  (audio from library)
A History of the Present Illness by Lousie Aronson (Net Galley. This was in the NF previously because I was confused.  It reads like literary NF a bit like Oliver Sacks but Net Galley lists it as Fiction)

Upcoming:


Blog Tours:

My Journey As a Combat Medic by Patrick Thibeault --memoir--January--Review and Author Interview
Flesh by Khanha --a novel--January.  Review & Author Guest Post

Books I've Finished Awaiting Reviews:

At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon  (the ebook I was reading aloud to my Mom while staying there in March and April. These short little lighthearted chapters are almost like stand-alone short stories with beloved characters and make great bedtime reading for adults wanting pleasant dreams)

The Land of Decoration by Grace McClean
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg   Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list.   I discussed this in such detail in my mid-week ROW80 check-in post it was practically a review and I'll probably copy/paste much of what I said there into the review.

Recently:

Finished reading:

The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton by Angela Shelton
One Moment in Time by Glenn Snyde
Curiosity Killed the Kat by Elizabeth Nelson
At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon 


Reviews & Bookish Posts:

The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton by Angela Shelton

If Dr. Seuss had written a novel it would be just like this--whimsical, charming, colorful as an artist's palette, with moral values wrapped in parables like peaches in whipped cream, with epic struggles of good against evil and full of the wonder and wisdom only ever comprehended by the heart of a child.  This story will speak to every child heart aged 8 to 88.

One Moment in Time by Glenn Snyder

This story was written to encourage thoughtful reflection but it does not stint on entertainment.  The author has woven a message into the story but is never preachy and always keeps the focus on the story.  The main characters are fully drawn and worth caring about, drawing us in and keeping us engaged.

Curiosity Killed the Kat by Elizabeth Nelson


Tho disturbing it is entertaining in the way we expect our thrillers to be with pulsing action and dialog that practically turns the pages for you.








The World Without You by Joshua Henkin (I reviewed this in June but had not quite finished it yet and only discovered that while shuffling around my ARCs in preparation for the read-a-thon last month.  Had to back up a couple chapters and then proceed. I would like to either post another review or update the one I posted in June but  I'm not sure where the time for it will come from before the end of November after NaNo and travel and family commitments are done.  I will say read this book.  It was one of the best of the ARC I read this whole year.)

New Arrivals:

By Snail Mail:

Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis by Mark Binelli  Non-fiction expose.  This was waiting for me when I got home last week.

By email:  NADA

From Net Galley:

A History of This Present Illness by Loren Aronson
A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Never Give in to Fear by Marti MacGibbon
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
Unloched by Candace Lemon-Scott
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy 
by Emily Bazelon
Ignorance by Michèle Roberts
The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Snead
LULU a novella by Nancy Friday
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

ARC in waiting:

The Civilized World by Susi Wyss (another ARC that got lost in the mix before I'd finished it.  Have not posted a review for this one either and can't remember when I received it but it had to be at least a year ago before I started packing for our move and likely before NaNo when I typically stop reading fiction while I'm so intensely writing it.  This is a collection of interlocking short stories set in South Africa and I remember I was quite enjoying it.  I've had to start it over.-- And then forgot to bring it with me to Mom's so I hope to get back to it again as soon as NaNo is over)

The Variations by John Donatich
The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith   My husband read this and loved it and is after me to read it so he can talk about it.
The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller  Nobel winner!!
Skios by Michael Frayn
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
The Sadness of the Samurai by Victor del Arbo
Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman
Winter Journal by Paul Auster a memoir from an American literary figure that really excites me.
We Sinners by Hanna Pylvaine.   It's another story exploring the impact on family life of a fundamentalist religion.  One of the themes I'm drawn to like Pooh to honey.
Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010 compiled by The Organization Breaking the Silence

If anyone reading this states a preference I may let it weigh my decision as to what I begin next from the above list.

Read more...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Serenity #312

sum fings wurf contorshunin 4
Vote, like, share, recaption...


My sister fixed the hot water faucet in our bathroom sink which has not worked properly since we moved in after Christmas last year. This is a blessing not just for today but all the days that follow.

Ed made a big pot of his spaghetti sauce from scratch in the new crock pot she got us while I was staying with them last month.

While Ed cooked and Carri went back and forth between here and Home Depot looking for solutions and the two of them went online looking for answers and diagrams, Mom and I sat and played with our thread.  I was crocheting and Mom was winding thread off the cardboard tubes into compact balls for me.

Merlin spent the day trying to steal whichever chair was left unoccupied for two seconds.

Carri will be back for a few hours in the morning to tackle a few other things with her toolbox before they have to hit the road for home in the afternoon.

Read more...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

51st ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
I'm doing things quite differently this round.  Since I joined mid Round 2 this year I have been using a blog-within-a-blog format for these check-in posts with updates stacked atop previous updates and commentary added under each goals section including a string of Ns and Ys for the five time investment goals.  This got quite unwieldy by mid round.

So now I've created a Google Doc Spreadsheet to keep track of the Ns and Ys and have set up a ROW80 page to feature the goals sans commentary.  These check-in posts will now contain only the commentary relating to the previous half week, a screenshot of the relevant lines on the spreadsheet and link to the spreadsheet and goals page.  And as of October 23 the READ CRAFT reading lists.


READ CRAFT:

Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff


Recently Read:

A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  Just finished this last month and wrote an overview of it for that next check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned..  This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.


In a recent Check-In I implemented a NEW GOAL:  before heading to bed, close all aps but the one I've chosen for free writing and when the time slated for that is up segue directly to working with the fiction files.

I established it after digesting the info in Duhigg's The Power of Habit and have followed through since the Sunday before November 1st now. See the nice new strings of Ys in the two relevant columns?

View the spreadsheet Google Doc directly
View the goals list



See my musings in last check-in post about my several encounters recently with the principle that clarity isn't arrived at through thought alone but via action--engagement in the non-abstract realm with the minutia, manipulation of the materials, or in other words 'just doing it' and how I'm attempting to apply it to my stalled out stories.

My hope to get NaNo words Wednesday while in the car on the five hour trip home did not get realized because my Mom and sister were listening to a audio novel.  So I crocheted instead..  I was listening as well since I couldn't avoid it but it was frustrating in that they had been listening to it off and on for months and the story was more than 3/4ths over plus it had not ended yet by the time we arrived.  I hate both getting in on a story already in progress and missing out on the ending and both happened for me.  Which is frustrating even when the story isn't one I probably would have chosen for myself.  In this case it was The Walking Stick by Winston Graham and I learned online that they made a movie of it in the 70s.  My sister told me via fb the day after they left here that the story ended 'stupid'.  I had the sense it was shaping up for a less than happy ending.

I was surprised they were listening to it as it wasn't typical fair for either of them.  It had the flavor of 1970 anti-hero movies in which the main character is extremely flawed and morally or ethically wishy-washy and fate punishes them.  I guess my mom chose it from the talking books catalog based on the blurb about a woman who limped due to having had polio as a child. But Mom was probably imagining a story of heroic overcoming of physical challenge instead of a woman with no backbone who is easily manipulated by a charming man into helping pull of a jewelry heist at the auction house she worked at.  Her need for this man's affection, approval and attention overcame all of her inhibitions.

Ah.  Enough.  That was a tangent I wasn't intending on taking.

As you can see in the spreadsheet I lost Ys in the Fiction Files column and got zero words for NaNo on Wednesday and Thursday.  Wednesday was the trip home to Phoenix OR from Longview WA.  The 5.5 hour trip took us 9 hours.  We left Mom's house at 2pm but didn't get out of Longview until 2:30 due to lines at the pumps then we didn't get south of Portland OR until 5:30 --50 odd miles in 3 hours!--and then reached Phoenix at 10:30 but stopped to settle Mom at their motel first so reached my house at 11:15.  Then my sister unloaded my stuff from the van while I sorted our huge pile of laundry we had planned to take to the laundromat that day but now hoped to do it on Thursday if we could find one open on Thanksgiving.  Which we did and that turned into a 7 hour project--nearly 2 dozen loads counting 5 do-overs.

Both days were exhausting.  And the elbow I rammed into the doorknob at Mom's while packing Tuesday evening still throbbed and I kept rebumping it. My sister and Mom left here Thursday evening about 9pm and I could barely see straight.  So no NaNo again.

I made a dent in the NaNo deficit Friday with a 2222 advance and repeated that again Saturday.  I was just getting ready to start working on this post about 7pm when we lost Internet and didn't get it back until nearly 3am.  I spent the time instead crocheting and getting some of my reading, writing and craft stuff that went with me to Longview unpacked and put away.  Having spent hours Saturday afternoon and evening putting away the laundry and other unpacking from the trip I was exhausted by midnight and was about to give up on the net and go to bed without posting when it came back.  My fatigue is contributing to the rambling nature of this post.

My mom and sister will be back again Sunday afternoon and will spend parts of Sunday and Monday here.  My sister will be helping with some small repair projects around the house having brought her toolbox loaded with things we don't yet own. So I may have trouble getting my NaNo words for both of those days too.

Update Sunday Afternoon: After waiting over seven hour for the Internet connection to return and spending over an hour prepping this post I had just published and was about to enter my link in the linky when our power went off.  Power returned in fifteen minutes but no the Internet.  I waited another hour but it still wasn't back so I gave up and went to bed.  My husband said it was after ten this morning before it came back.

Read more...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Forays in Fiction: LOLing Break

dat bug leevn hiz nastee paw prince alovur kant hyd 4evr
See More LOLz, vote, like, share and make your own..
Excuse this poor excuse for a post but all my words are for NaNo today.  Did not get any NaNo words for two days and may have trouble getting them Sunday and Monday as well so must make haste leaving nasty insect tracks all over my netbook screen.

Read more...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day of Thanks

ai dynt sa halp meh gawgul k?  I sayd hawpee Gawblur Day


Today my sister took me to the laundromat and helped run nearly two dozen loads through the machines.  I have seldom been as grateful for anything as I was for this today.

It took us seven hours.  Around three loads worth had to be rewashed a second or third time for stubborn stains or odors before graduating to the dryer.

I was wishing I'd taken my netbook or at least a pencil to go with the tablet I had in my bag so I could have gotten at least some of my NaNo words but I didn't so I didn't.  That is two days in a row now.  I could easily set a scene in my NaNo novel at a laundromat.  So I did try to observe and make a lot of mental notes and hoped to get some down tonight but I'm so exhausted the words on the page look like bug tracks even at normal font sizes.

I think I need to give in to the urge to splurge on zzzzzzzzzzz

Read more...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Here Again, There Again, Home Again. Where Again?

Merlin last winter after a tuckering play session.
He wasn't much into playing tonight.  Actually he's not much into me.
I'm home.

Long long day.

We left Mom's house at 2pm but it was 2:30 before we hit the freeway out of Longview because we had to gas up first.  Then what should have taken us an hour forty minutes tops to get to the south side of Portland took over three hours.  The freeways through Vancouver and Portland were little better than parking lots.

I didn't get to do my NaNo words in the car either because we were all listening to an audio book all day so I crocheted and got 4.5 4x4 inch blocks in the Secret Santa project done.

We didn't pull into Phoenix OR until after 10pm and then we got Mom settled at their motel first before going to my house where we walked in waking Ed who'd fallen asleep in his recliner having been awake since 4:30 am and worked a full day.

Since Carri and I had planned on taking the laundry here over to the laundromat after we unloaded my stuff I'd asked Ed in an email to strip the bed telling him we were bringing clean sheets and sleeping bags for tonight.  But we got here after the laundrormat was closed and it will be closed tomorrow too.

So Carri got the clean bedding out of the car and made up the bed for Ed who soon headed for it.  Then she began unloading my stuff from the van into the house while I sorted our laundry which with the bedding added to it had created a pile large enough to fill the spot in the hall meant for the washing machine we don't have yet. Carri estimated 20 loads once I had it sorted. And that was just Ed's clothes, bedding, towels and cleaning rags since I took my dirty clothes with me to Longview and brought them home clean.

It may be all for naught since the laundromat near us is closed tomorrow.  My sister says her GPS shows there is another in Ashland but no way to know if it is going to be open.  We might check on the trailer park's facilities to see if they are as bad as I've heard rumors. Oh well, at least it is all sorted.  That's a huge step and if nothing else Ed and I can schlep them over on foot two or three loads at a time over the next couple of weeks.

Carri and Mom are going on down to Gerber CA tomorrow to visit family, attend a Bible Conference and a memorial service for Mom's brother's wife.  They will be back here on Sunday sometime and spend another night in the motel and some time with me before heading on back to Longview Monday afternoon.

I'm not sure Merlin knows who I am or else he is punishing me.  He's being standoffish and he anointed one of the trash bags full of laundry I was sorting and we had to dump the bag and toss it and get a fresh one.

It was almost 1am when my sister left here and then I had to hunt for my power cord and for the plugin in the dark corner of my office behind the bookshelf.  So I had to fudge the timestamp to get my Wednesday post.

And now I better go see if I can find the bed.  I didn't sleep well last night with my arm still hurting so bad and not being able to sleep on my right side and waking up every time I brushed the scraped skin against the blankets. Besides Carri and Mom will be over in the morning as soon as Mom gets up and ready to go.  Carri thought probably by 9am.

Read more...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

50th ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
I'm doing things quite differently this round.  Since I joined mid Round 2 this year I have been using a blog-within-a-blog format for these check-in posts with updates stacked atop previous updates and commentary added under each goals section including a string of Ns and Ys for the five time investment goals.  This got quite unwieldy by mid round.

So now I've created a Google Doc Spreadsheet to keep track of the Ns and Ys and have set up a ROW80 page to feature the goals sans commentary.  These check-in posts will now contain only the commentary relating to the previous half week, a screenshot of the relevant lines on the spreadsheet and link to the spreadsheet and goals page.  And as of October 23 the READ CRAFT reading lists.


READ CRAFT:

Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff


Recently Read:

A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  Just finished this last month and wrote an overview of it for that next check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned..  This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.


In a recent Check-In I implemented a NEW GOAL:  before heading to bed, close all aps but the one I've chosen for free writing and when the time slated for that is up segue directly to working with the fiction files.

I established it after digesting the info in Duhigg's The Power of Habit and have followed through since the Sunday before November 1st now. See the nice new strings of Ys in the two relevant columns?

View the spreadsheet Google Doc directly
View the goals list


See my musings in last check-in post about my several encounters recently with the principle that clarity isn't arrived at through thought alone but via action--engagement in the non-abstract realm with the minutia, manipulation of the materials, or in other words 'just doing it' and how I'm attempting to apply it to my stalled out stories.


This will be short as my right arm is in a sling to hold the icepack in place over my elbow which I smashed into a doorknob while carrying a stack of books this evening.  Was in the midst of packing for tomorrows return trip home and my foot caught in the handle of a half-packed bag on the floor.  I have a lump the size of large chicken egg that is also scraped raw right on the fleshy part of the forearm at the bend.  My whole arm feels like a toothache.

My ribs and back are screaming as well but I'm not sure if that is from the jarring or the hours of packing.  Whichever it is I'm looking forward to taking some naproxin or ibuprophin and laying down.  I was afraid to take them earlier for fear of getting sleepy too soon.

I'm so glad I got my NaNo words in before I slept Tuesday morning.  I've been depending on the wee hours for that while here at Mom's.  I don't think I'll be getting them that way for Wednesday now and I'll be exhausted by the time I get home and the car is unloaded and I've greeted my husband and cat and in-laws and....

Plus my sister might be taking me and whatever laundry has accumulated at home over to the laundromat tomorrow evening.  So if I'm to get my NaNo words before midnight I suppose I'll have to get them in the car on the five hour trip.  That's something I've never done but my netbook does have a battery worth over 3 hours if I don't have too much open and it is just text not video.  Otherwise I'll be catching up this weekend.


Read more...

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Share what you (are, have been, are about to, hope to be) reading or reviewing this week. Sign Mr Linky at Book Journey and visit other Monday reading roundups.

Recently I implemented something I've seen on other blogs and found recommended during Blogiesta:  I've created a template for this meme post so that in the future I can more quickly put together my posts and readers can know what to expect and where to find the things they are most interested in.

The sections of this template:

Intro (here)
My Week in Review (list of books finished and links to bookish posts in the previous week)
Reading Now (my current reading list broken up into NF and Fiction)
Upcoming (scheduled reviews and blog tours and list of finished books awaiting reviews)
Recently (links to bookish posts in the last few weeks)
New Arrivals: (lists of recently acquired ARC broken up into snail mail, email and Net Gallery)
ARC in waiting (a list that is getting shamefully long)

My Week in Review:

This actually covers two weeks this time as I didn't do IMWAYR last week.

Finished reading:


The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton by Angela Shelton
One Moment in Time by Glenn Snyde
Curiosity Killed the Kat by Elizabeth Nelson
At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon 


Reviews & Bookish Posts:


The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton by Angela Shelton

If Dr. Seuss had written a novel it would be just like this--whimsical, charming, colorful as an artist's palette, with moral values wrapped in parables like peaches in whipped cream, with epic struggles of good against evil and full of the wonder and wisdom only ever comprehended by the heart of a child.  This story will speak to every child heart aged 8 to 88.

One Moment in Time by Glenn Snyder

This story was written to encourage thoughtful reflection but it does not stint on entertainment.  The author has woven a message into the story but is never preachy and always keeps the focus on the story.  The main characters are fully drawn and worth caring about, drawing us in and keeping us engaged.

Curiosity Killed the Kat by Elizabeth Nelson


Tho disturbing it is entertaining in the way we expect our thrillers to be with pulsing action and dialog that practically turns the pages for you.








Reading Now:

Non-Fiction:

Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton (Part of my ROW80 reading in craft list)
Get Your Loved One Sober by Robert Meyers (Research for a fiction WIP)
What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
And So It Goes by Charles J. Sheilds a bio of Kurt Vonnegut.  (I've posted about this biography of Kurt Vonnegut several time in a kind of reading journal. It is past time for another.  Part of the fun I'm having reading this is in stopping to read the stories he wrote as the narrative reaches the point where he writes them.)
This Mobius Strip of Ifs by Mathias Freese (I've posted a reading journal post for this collection of personal essays also.  It is past time for another.)
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols

Most of these I plug way in at a snail's pace--a couple chapters per week as that is my preferred way to read non-fic.  It sticks with me longer. I'm closing in on the finish line for several but as I get close on one I tend to add two or three more. There are some not listed here because I don't read in them weekly.

Fiction:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness  (audio from library)
A History of the Present Illness by Lousie Aronson (Net Galley. This was in the NF previously because I was confused.  It reads like literary NF a bit like Oliver Sacks but Net Galley lists it as Fiction)



Upcoming:


Blog Tours:

My Journey As a Combat Medic by Patrick Thibeault --memoir--January--Review and Author Interview
Flesh by Khanha --a novel--January.  Review & Author Guest Post

Books I've Finished Awaiting Reviews:


At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon  (the ebook I was reading aloud to my Mom while staying there in March and April. These short little lighthearted chapters are almost like stand-alone short stories with beloved characters and make great bedtime reading for adults wanting pleasant dreams)

The Land of Decoration by Grace McClean
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg   Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list.   I discussed this in such detail in my mid-week ROW80 check-in post it was practically a review and I'll probably copy/paste much of what I said there into the review.


Recently:

Finished reading:

The World Without You by Joshua Henkin (I reviewed this in June but had not quite finished it yet and only discovered that while shuffling around my ARCs in preparation for the read-a-thon last month.  Had to back up a couple chapters and then proceed. I would like to either post another review or update the one I posted in June but  I'm not sure where the time for it will come from before the end of November after NaNo and travel and family commitments are done.  I will say read this book.  It was one of the best of the ARC I read this whole year.)

New Arrivals:

By Snail Mail:  NADA
By email:  NADA
From Net Galley:

A History of This Present Illness by Loren Aronson
A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Never Give in to Fear by Marti MacGibbon
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
Unloched by Candace Lemon-Scott
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy 
by Emily Bazelon
Ignorance by Michèle Roberts
The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Snead

ARC in waiting:


The Civilized World by Susi Wyss (another ARC that got lost in the mix before I'd finished it.  Have not posted a review for this one either and can't remember when I received it but it had to be at least a year ago before I started packing for our move and likely before NaNo when I typically stop reading fiction while I'm so intensely writing it.  This is a collection of interlocking short stories set in South Africa and I remember I was quite enjoying it.  I've had to start it over.-- And now I've forgotten to bring it with me and won't get back to it until after Thanksgiving)
The Variations by John Donatich
The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith   My husband read this and loved it and is after me to read it so he can talk about it.
The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller  Nobel winner!!
Skios by Michael Frayn
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
The Sadness of the Samurai by Victor del Arbo
Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman
Winter Journal by Paul Auster a memoir from an American literary figure that really excites me.
We Sinners by Hanna Pylvaine.   It's another story exploring the impact on family life of a fundamentalist religion.  One of the themes I'm drawn to like Pooh to honey.
Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010 compiled by The Organization Breaking the Silence

If anyone reading this states a preference I may let it weigh my decision as to what I begin next from the above list.

Read more...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Serenity #311



Today I spent hours on the NaNo site and following links from there and from my email to NaNo related things. Like the peptalks, the free software trials and other goodies from sponsors. Like the freebies Writer's Digest is giving away each weekday all month.  I caught up on the ones available so far and read everything that was from a single page up to five pages--tips and advice, articles or chapters out of WD books.

One of the free software trials was for a timeline ap for storywriters that had me all excited and ready to click download when I noticed it was for Mac only.  I really really really need a good timeline ap that I can zoom from a century down to minutes, overlay the life timelines of a hundred characters and multiple novels along with real history.  The good news is that this Aeon timeline software is developing the Windows version due to come out in the next year and by signing up for the newletter I'll know when and the NaNo discounts will still apply so if I win NaNo this month I'll get a 50% discount when it does come out.

And what did I do but forget to finish getting my word count for the day so fell short by over 1000 words.  But no worries I'll catch it up.

I think it was worth it for I feel rejuvenated, inspired, a bit juiced now.

Read more...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

49th ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
I'm doing things quite differently this round.  Since I joined mid Round 2 this year I have been using a blog-within-a-blog format for these check-in posts with updates stacked atop previous updates and commentary added under each goals section including a string of Ns and Ys for the five time investment goals.  This got quite unwieldy by mid round.

So now I've created a Google Doc Spreadsheet to keep track of the Ns and Ys and have set up a ROW80 page to feature the goals sans commentary.  These check-in posts will now contain only the commentary relating to the previous half week, a screenshot of the relevant lines on the spreadsheet and link to the spreadsheet and goals page.  And as of October 23 the READ CRAFT reading lists.


READ CRAFT:

Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff


Recently Read:

A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  Just finished this last month and wrote an overview of it for that next check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned..  This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.


In a recent Check-In I implemented a NEW GOAL:  before heading to bed, close all aps but the one I've chosen for free writing and when the time slated for that is up segue directly to working with the fiction files.

I established it after digesting the info in Duhigg's The Power of Habit and have followed through since the Sunday before November 1st now. See the nice new strings of Ys in the two relevant columns?


View the spreadsheet Google Doc directly
View the goals list

In the last two weeks I've had multiple encounters with the principle that clarity isn't arrived at through thought alone but via action--engagement in the non-abstract realm with the minutia, manipulation of the materials, or in other words 'just doing it.'

After all you can't learn to cook by reading recipes, nor experience swimming by memorizing the atomic structure of H2O, nor can you teach a child to dress themselves by reading a how-to manual to them and drilling them on the steps before allowing them to pick up the clothing and stick their head, arm or foot through a hole.

In yesterday's Friday Foray's in Fiction post I shared the video in which the principle was spelled out and how it had played out for me once with a crochet task and once with a writing task in the days previous to encountering the video and then discussed how I might need to apply it to the issue I have with so many of my stories set in the Fruits of the Spirit storyworld stalling out either after the opening scenes or near the half-way point because I've lost my sense of knowing where it is going.

With dozens of characters and more than half a dozen generations covering 120 years I'm constantly fretting about writing myself into a corner in one story that will make another story I've planned impossible or committing silly errors of time and place.  To alleviate this fear I spend a lot of time inputing and manipulating data into timelines, character rosters, family trees, maps, floor plans, and plot arcs, making mind maps, writing character sketches and monologues, and lists of scenes. When I talk about fiction file fiddling this is what I mean in part tho it can include writing scenes or reworking rough drafts as well.

Now this all qualifies as manipulating the minutia etc. and quite often some of my favorite scenes have been written after I've been fiddling in my fiction files like this but on the other hand none of those scenes have ever broken loose the jam keeping a story stalled they tend to be something new that doesn't fit in any of the already existing stories but is in the same storyworld and features one or more of the characters from one or more of the existing stories.

This is how I've ended up with over a dozen WIP in this one storyworld ranging in anticipated length from vignette to fat novel.

I've twisted my thoughts like a pretzel trying to figure out how best to apply the clarity principle to this issue. I don't think the answer is to limit the work in the timeline, family trees and character rosters etc as that is the womb that gestates the stories.  Nor do I think it would help to forbid beginning new things until other things are finished as that would be dissing the muse.  But I do think that I need to stop avoiding the stalled out stories while waiting for the solution to their problems to come to me or even by working their problems like algebra equations in my head for weeks, months and years.

I'm going to be putting more thought into this between now and the beginning of the next round but I believe my plan will involve some sort of intense focus on one of those stalled stories at a time for a set period whether that is one story per week or per month or per round I don't know.

Do you have a method for getting stalled stories moving again?

Read more...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Forays in Fiction: Clarity




The other day I found a link to this video in my email in a newsletter I subscribe to and in it I encountered this statement:  Clarity doesn't come from thought but from engagement.  In a restatement 'engagement' was replaced with 'action'. I may have paraphrased a tad but the meaning is intact.


Much of this post is from the comment I left on this post:


I’ve encounter this principle at least 4 times just in the past week! Once while putting the finishing touches on a crocheted diaper bag that had sat since June when the crocheting was done because I couldn’t perfectly see how to do what I was visualizing as the finished bag. The baby’s first birthday coming up this week forced me to reengage with it last week or face the demoralizing failure of not finishing a gift intended for a baby shower in time for the baby’s first birthday.

Once it happened when I opened my netbook in a public place just to jot some notes in a story file and ended up writing actual rough draft fiction for half an hour something I thought I was constitutionally incapable of doing both because of the sensory distractions and the feeling of being observed.

But beyond even that, even in my preferred environment for writing, those same words would not have made it to the screen if I’d waited (as is my usual habit) until I knew generally what I wanted them to be. They came as a surprise out of the engagement with the writing implement and I’m sure I can credit those new habits established for the ROW80 challenge recently because two of them involve just that–engagement with the writing implements (netbook, pen/paper) as creative writing implements at the beginning of each day before I allow myself to use them in other ways (Internet, games, video, ebook, photo/graphic manipulation, task lists, ….)

One of the things keeping my Fruits of the Spirit story world stories stalled out has been my attempts to map out the entire 120 years and the 7 generations of family trees before I write too far into any one character's story arc so I don't write myself into corners I can't get out of--someone marrying someone who isn't born yet; someone on scene in one story but out of town that same week in another story etc.  Also there is the religious cult that acts as primary antagonist throughout the series which I've yet to define to my satisfaction.  Now I'm wondering if maybe I’m trying to see specifics that aren’t visible until I'm in the thick of it.

Do I need to just write the stories without worrying about these things and fix any problems that crop up in future drafts?.   But what if I publish a story and then months or years later while writing a different one in the same world discover that something I've established in the earlier story precludes something the new story needs in order to work?  Can I edit the first story or must I let the new story die before it is born?

How much planning ahead is enough?  How much is too much?

Knowing myself I believe I lean toward too much.

It is spooky how this keeps getting reemphasized. I guess I’m supposed to take note?

Read more...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book Review: Curiosity Killed the Kat by Elizabeth Nelson


Curiosity Killed the Kat
by Elizabeth Nelson

Publisher: Bristlecone Books, June 3, 2012
Category: Romantic Suspense

120 pages

Kathrine began dating Steven as a college freshman and dropped out of school to marry him and follow him across the country when he graduated.  She could not believe her luck in snagging this movie-star handsome, smart man and as the years went by she was continuously amazed that this handsome, smart, rich and powerful lawyer continued to love her and want her.  What did it matter that he established her wardrobe, preferred she didn't work outside the home, expected obedience and needed rough sex?  Wasn't it the job of a loving and faithful wife to meet the needs of a husband so perfect as Steve?  To stay aware of his moods and anticipate his every whim to ward off his temper was a small price to pay for being loved by him.

Wasn't it?

Kathrine would give her own mother the silent treatment for months at a time when this view of her marriage was challenged by the strong woman who'd raised her daughter as a single mom.

Then one night Steven took her out to dinner with his boss, Charlie, and Charlie's companion, a young and model-gorgeous woman who, upon joining Kat in the powder room, begged her for help, claiming she was being held against her will in Charlie's house after he'd brought her over from Saudi Arabia with the promise of a modeling career.

Kat tried to reassure the girl with what she assumed had to be the innocuous explanations for the misunderstanding between her and Charlie but her curiosity was woken by this exchange and she couldn't leave it alone.  Nor could she discuss it with Steven.  So she waited until he'd left on a several day away business trip the following morning and tried to track the girl down first at the modeling agency that were clients of Charlie and Steven and then at Charlie's house.

What she finds there is not the girl.  What she finds there is illusion shattering and suddenly she must dig deep for her courage and ingenuity and, yes, defiance.  For Steven is not the man she thought he was and he might even be a monster.

This is a disturbing story as romantic suspense thrillers often are but in this case the subject itself is disturbing (abusive sexual relationships) and although I've encountered it in fiction before I think usually those stories were written by men and hard as they try they rarely capture what it is like inside the mind of the woman who is under the thrall of a cruel, controlling man and believes she is in love and his actions prove his love for her.  Ms. Nelson has given us such a woman in the character of Katherine and takes us into her most intimate thoughts where the illusion lives and we watch as she desperately tries to keep it viable as reality intrudes.

Tho disturbing it is entertaining in the way we expect our thrillers to be with pulsing action and dialog that practically turns the pages for you.  But if you are looking for a resolution you won't get it in this first volume of the trilogy unless you accept Katherine's psychological resolution in the last line to live as the best revenge as a satisfactory story resolution.  For in the final scene she is not yet safe nor have Steven and Charlie gotten their comeuppance.

Where's the next page?

Warning:  If this were a movie it would be rated R for violence, explicit sexual content and language.  It is also the first of a trilogy and it ends on a cliffhanger like old matinee movies.

From the Publishers:


Katherine ("Kat") thought she had the perfect marriage to International Lawyer Steven Flynn. Until he tried to kill her.

Katherine was the perfect obedient wife. She would do anything for her husband. That is, until she discovers he's the ring leader of a human trafficking organization. The action is fast and furious, the dialogue smart and the sex scenes hot. Meet Katherine in Curiosity Killed The Kat as she goes farther and farther down the rabbit hole of political intrigue, sex, and revenge. Will she let herself be saved by love or will curiosity and a thirst for killer justice kill the Kat?


What they are saying:


"A 5 star debut for sure!!! This book had ALL the elements I love; a kick-ass detailed story, a wealthy sexy man and strong female lead and my favorite; lots of hot, sweaty body tangling going on! Katherine and Steven's relationship is electric. The plot intense. The dialogue superb. Not wanting to give too much away, this was a fantastic read. The author kept me guessing until the end of the book. Once you start reading this book, it is very hard to put down. Ms. Nelson thank you for the entertainment!!!"- Sophia Schippers, Amazon.com Reviewer

"You can't put this one down ! This was my first Elizabeth Nelson book, and it was a lot of fun. It's suspenseful, action-packed and keeps you guessing throughout the book. There's never a dull moment. This book is one you will want to read in one sitting because you can't wait to see what happens next. I'm really looking forward to finding out what happens with Katherine and I can't wait to read the next in the series."-Lori S., Amazon.com Reviewer

"I loved this book.... It had me chewing nails , I can't wait to read the next book ... Keep up the writing!"-Sissy, Amazon.com Reviewer

"I found myself speed reading I was so anxious for the outcome! Imagine your perfect life & marriage over in one stunning moment of realism. Human trafficing; a compelling story that does not read like fiction but keeps hold of your attention and eager for the next book in the series."- Luvs2read, Amazon.com Reviewer

" I randomly picked this book on my wife's Kindle for a couple of hours of relaxing reading and must say I am impressed with the story line of this book. The book grabbed me almost immediately from the start, always wanting me to find out more. This is really a great book that really riveted my imagination."- Simon, Amazon.com Reviewer

"This book is fantastic, and it is a quality read. It really looks at the deception that can happen between a man and wife. This is an exciting book, and I think it empowers women. The wife, Kat, is someone many people will understand. I absolutely love the last line of the book: "To get the revenge I deserved all I had to do was live." Kat is dignity, grace, and strength - personified."- Florence Mims, Goodreads.com Reviewer

"This was a very explosive book. I couldn't put it down. I found it refreshing and was immediately drawn in from the beginning. There was passion, action, suspense, and I couldn't get through the pages fast enough. I can' t wait to find out how it ends."-Meggin, Goodreads.com Reviewer


Elizabeth Nelson wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills and relationship techniques have helped hundreds of others find their mojo. After earning a master's degree in secondary education from UNC, she worked abroad teaching English, bar-tended at late night clubs in Chicago, and continues various philanthropy projects that focus on empowering women. But she always returned to writing.


Though she'll forever be a free-spirit at heart, she now lives in Los Angeles with her two dogs. If she's not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rock concerts.

Elizabeth's Facebook Page


Pinterest



Follow the blog tour for more reviews, giveaways, author interviews and guest posts: 

http://www.virtualauthorbooktours.com/


Read more...

Blog Directories

Saysher.com

Sitemeter

Feed Buttons

About This Blog

Web Wonders

Once Upon a Time

alt

alt

alt

alt

70 Days of Sweat

Yes, master.

Epic Kindle Giveaway Jan 11-13 2012

I Melted the Internet

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP