Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Brain on Books VI

<-- click the pic to learn about the Read-a-thon

I am reading for RIF today. I don't have a sponsor but I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading in kids.

This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones.
I will post a notice at Twitter whenever I update this post. Or at least whenever I remember to. Be sure to scroll to bottom of this post. You won't be sorry.

Read with joy.

Ode to a Read-a-Thon

Sleep sneak attacks at the oddest moments
The world tilts you out of your seat
The ground looses its grip on your feet
Then clad in not but the sky's adornments
You slide into dream as long regiments
Of text glide endlessly past your eyes
On the flapping wings of dragon flies.

by Joy Renee October 2009

4:22 AM Sunday
I have just posted the winners of my RIF mini-challenge drawing
Thanks to all who participated. All of your offerings were wonderfully touching and inspiring.

Now I'm off to do some cheerleading until
the end

1:44 AM Sunday

I'm still touring the entries to my RIF mini-challenge. It's going to take me longer than I thought. In fact I may not finish before 4AM and if not I will finish up after I've slept and use the last hour to cheerlead. Which would mean of course that I won't get to announce the winners until late Sunday at the earliest.

Shortly after I got restarted on the tour of entries, I figured out why
I kept getting comments via email that weren't showing up on the challenge post all of which bemoaned missing out but willing to leave their link anyway. The links to the challenge were incorrect at the hub for the 2nd and 3rd hour of the challenge. There were seven of you led astray (to last year's RIFF challenge) who yet persisted and as long as I find the RIFF link & a contribution on the theme you'll be included in the drawing.

11:44 PM
Finished Shadow Tag with minutes to spare. So I can say I read one novel cover to cover. I'm going to be reeling from the ending for awhile. So I'm not picking up another book right away and when I do I won't be starting a new novel. I had been reading Stephen King's Under the Dome all week and set it aside for the day because I knew I would frustrating slow progress with the small print and physically heavy and unwieldy book. If ever there was a book I wish was an ebook... 1074 pages. Who gets away with that other than Proust, Tolstoy or King?

Anyway. I have an unfinished task to tend to before I pick up Dome. I need to finish the tour of the entrants to my RIF mini-challenge, do the drawing and post the winners on the challenge post and notify the hub blog. And if there is still time after all of that, and I'm sure there will be some, I have committed to do a minimum of one hour of cheerleading. I purposed from the beginning to do that hour in the last three or four of the thon because I know that though I may no longer be able to read 1000 pages in a day, I still have one well honed skill or possibly a birth defect--I can stay awake for 24 hours plus without obvious decrease in mental acuity. I do it several times a month. In fact hours 16 to 32 are usually better than hours 1 to 6. Sometimes I think I was meant to be born on a planet with a 36 hour rotation.

So that's why I like to do cheerleading in those final hours because I feel not only more needed and useful but more myself by then.

9:22 PM
Just checking in to assure you I'm still reading. I'm now about 80 pages out in Shadow Tag which means I still have a really good chance of finishing before midnight if I stay with it. The story has reached that point where it's hard to put down. The climax is just ahead. The story is like a puzzle and poem; like a Rubik's Cube made of precious stone. The sentences as precise as a jeweler's etching tool. Not a story for speed reading but for lingering over. I can't say I'm surprised since I've read several Erdrich before. So I guess the truth is that reading quick isn't even a near priority for me anymore. To read with joy for me is to hold the words on my tongue, allow metaphors to melt slowly into consciousness, let images mingle and meld and characters morph and transform and in this way open myself to transformative wonder.

5:22 PM
Well my mini-challenge officially finished at the top of this hour. I spent the last two hours visiting entrants and still haven't finished. I hope they will all forgive me if I go back to reading for awhile before finishing the tour and drawing the winners.

Ed has headed over to the deli for a roasted chicken and when he gets back we are 'picnicking' on the bed. I'll have to put away the books and netbook for a few minutes as finger-food it may be but hot roasted chicken is not compatible with library books and expensive electronics.

After we eat I'm going to go out on the porch and get on the mini-tramp for a few minutes. I may be able to read while I'm doing that. But it is overcast so the light isn't very good for me and there's a risk of a sprinkle. We'll see.

Meanwhile, I only made it halfway in Shadow Tag, my first novel, before stopping to make my challenge tour. So my goal of finishing in under twelve hours is already defunct. The actual time spent reading the first half was 4-5 hours. So
maybe by midnight?

3:33 PM
I got so into reading I lost track of time. Missed several fun sounding challenges. My own RIF challenge is up now at top of page so I'll be spending the next little while visiting entries. There seems to be confusion that the challenge finished at the end of its first hour but it is open until 5pm aka the end of Hour 12.

BTW I passed the half-way point in Shadow Tag, the novel I'm reading, just before stopping to post an update and begin my visits to entrants.

7:33 AM The Kick-Off of Champions Mini-Challenge

We want to know how you have prepared so you do not have to leave your cozy reading space

My cozy reading space today is the same place I spend the bulk of my days and nights. It is bedroom, reading room, entertainment center, writer's workstation, sewing room. But today it is library and reading room. As I sit propped by the pillows, my desk (missing in above pic) is approximately next to my left knee:

Next to my left shoulder:

And to my right:

The top two pics were taken last week but the bottom two over a year ago and the contents of the shelves fluctuate often. Most shelves are two rows deep. But you get the picture.

To insure I don't have to leave here for hours, I made a pot of coffee just before 5am and filled a large lidded mug. Also a big tumbler of ice water. [Note: take care not to get dehydrated. That can cause headache, fuzzy brain and blurred vision] Been sipping at them ever since. Ed got me a few finger foods which I have in here with me and will be adding to them later today.

5:55 AM Hour 1 Meme

Where are you reading from today?
From our room in my in-laws trailer home. Later when/if it warms up outside I may sit on the porch. I might even read while doing some light stepping on my mini-tramp out there.

3 facts about me …
I'm legally blind from RP.

This is my sixth Read-a-Thon but the first one in which my vision has been optimized to the extent it can be as I had a pesky cataract removed last September and didn't get my prescription lenses until the week following the thon.

I'm also a six time vet of NaNoWriMo and am currently participating for the second time in their April Script Frenzy.

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
I live in a room containing hundreds of books, including a few dozen library books. And there are hundreds more ebooks on my netbook. In all previous thons I planned ahead, even with themes like YA; short story; NaNo prep; very short novels; and so forth. I always disappointed my high expectations. So this year I decided to go with the flow for the most part.

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
I have one main hope: to read one novel cover to cover in under 12 hours. Once a nearly daily event for me its now a rarity. So I'm beginning with a short large print novel. After finishing that it's whatever mood and eye condition directs.

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time?
frequent 30 seconds to 5 minutes of activity is more helpful than a cup of coffee to maintain alertness. I love my mini-tramp for this but before I had it, I jogged in place, swung my arms, walked up and down the hallway. Some activities allow for continued reading.

Also, avoid being in an overheated room. Being over warm but especially breathing warm air is more soporific than sleeping pills. Especially if you are sleep deprived as in the final stretch.

5:o5 AM
And we're off!! Beginning with Louise Erdrich's Shadow Tag. 265 pages large print that I'm hoping will be easy on the eyes and allow for more sustained reading than most regular print.

4:44 AM This is set to autopost at 4:44 AM. If it is much after 5AM and nothing has been added atop this line I hope its not because I overslept.

moar funny pictures

FYI Two book giveaway drawings are open here and here

10 tell me a story:

Anonymous,  4/10/2010 5:58 AM  

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky.
My pile of books
Are a mile high.
How I love them!
How I need them!
I'll have a long beard
By the time I read them.
~ Arnold Lobel ~

Have a wonderful time during the 24 hour read-a-thon!

Wendi 4/10/2010 7:16 AM  

You're definitely a veteran Readathoner. I haven't accomplished reading a novel in one day for a long time. Good luck!

Anonymous,  4/10/2010 9:23 AM  

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
~ Joseph Addison ~

Think of how strong we're getting today! At least mentally. :)

Enjoy every minute!

Anonymous,  4/10/2010 11:16 AM  

Wow, you're reading at 5 in the morning!? o.0 That's awesome! XDD (Well, I'm one to talk. It's... 0215H where I am. XP)

And, good luck with your reading~ Remember, there are no pressures, so just enjoy yourself! ;) Everyone here just enjoys a good book. :D


Kailana 4/10/2010 1:09 PM  

That's a cute LOL cat!

Anonymous,  4/10/2010 2:48 PM  

Read as you taste fruit or savor wine,
or enjoy friendship, love or life.
~ George Holbrook Jackson

Keep up the good job!

Anonymous,  4/10/2010 3:11 PM  

Good luck today! And have fun!!

Florinda 4/10/2010 4:15 PM  

Just stopped here to leave a cheer - "Rock on, Readathon-er!"

Happy reading :-D.

Anonymous,  4/10/2010 5:13 PM  

Read the best books first,
or you may not have a chance to read them at all.
~ Henry David Thoreau ~

Hope you're still going strong!

Melis 4/10/2010 5:56 PM  

The reading will stop
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
your book count will be higher
Just keep thinking about tomorrow
all the great books you will have to talk about
with your blogger friends
If you get blurred or sore, or sleepy
Just stick up your chin
and grin
and say
My TO BE READ PILE, Tomorrow
will be smaller than it was before
and your spirits will soar
because then TOMORROW, TOMORROW You can go shopping TOMORROW at Amazon and BUY SOME MORE!

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