January TBR Final

Note to self: pay closer attention to when you schedule post to be published! this on slipped by.

I did better than usual on my TBR. I was distracted by a few books not on the list. In my defense, it wasn’t my fault. I put them on hold at the library, and once they were in I had to read them. No wait list allowed for those. I did stretch my normal reading interest. I read two sci-fi books. On with the list.

January To Be Read list:

(Paperbacks)

  • Cinderella Six Feet Under by Maia Chance –  DNF. The dialect of one character got on my nerves and I couldn’t finish. Note to self: be very careful when writing in dialect not to overdo it.
  • Disappearing Nightly by Laura Resnick-
    I loved this book. It was fun of odd characters and insane events. It’s smart and funny. If you haven’t read one of her books, I recommend them. This one had a nice twist on virgin sacrifices to monsters. It’s a fantasy/mystery novel.
  • The Crimson Claymore by Craig A. Price Jr.It’s a fantasy book complete with a map. I love maps!  This is a local author. I bought the book in December. This one is a long shot to finish in January. Three paperbacks in one month is pushing it but I shall try.

(Digital)

  • Hope Chest by Joyce Scarbrough.  This short story took about 20 minutes to read. If you read it, keep a box of Kleenex nearby.
  • The Dragon’s Curse (The Dragon and the Scholar Book 1) by H.L. Burke. This an almost local writer, she’s in Florida. This will meet another part of the Mother-Daughter Reading Challenge.
  • Let’s Get Visible by David Gaughran- A how-to sell more books guide.
  • Murder in Half Moon Bay by Nancy Jill Thames  DNF.

Other books I’ve read:

The Martian by Andy Weir. Loved it.

Wipeout! Surfing Detective Mystery Series Book 2 by Chip Hughes I bought this because I have a secret dream of becoming a big wave surfer and living on the beach in Hawaii. I can’t even skim-board without being injured. It was a fun read. Dialect could be a bit difficult at times but it was a totally different type of mystery.

Double Dip, Davis Way Crime Caper #2  by Gretchen Archer. I bought the first book in the series last year because it was set in nearby Biloxi, Mississippi. These books are hysterical, Love them.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I picked this book up after my daughter tossed it aside after only 27 pages. I’m glad she didn’t finish it. I love a good aliens and/or disaster book. This was both. It had a really slow start and the set up was a bit frustrating. The book is divided into sections and those are divided into smaller chapters. Each section has a different narrator. Unfortunately, the narrator isn’t always easy to discern. It took a good 3 or 4 sections before I got the hang of it. It was a good read, I didn’t enjoy it enough to read the next one. To be totally honest, the amount of strong language was unnecessary for a teen book. That’s personal preference there.

My goal is 52 books. I’ve read 6 this month! 6/52. Great start for the year.

What did you just read?

-CK

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The Challenger and Ping Pong in Space

Reading The Martian, has rekindled my love of space. I’ve never been a genius at math or science, but I have always held a desire to be an astronaut. I know it will never happen, but there is still a little girl inside that wants to go to space. I envy the men and women who have the chance.

In middle school I had a science teacher, Mrs. Brown. She had the same desire. She owned a NASA flight suit and wore it to school for every space shuttle launch. I have vivid memories of her walking the halls in that bright blue jumpsuit. If that wasn’t enough to set my imagination on fire, she applied to be an astronaut for the teacher in space program. I don’t know how far she went, but it was enough to make me want to follow in her footsteps.  I only went as far as Space Camp.

Thirty years ago on January 28, 1986 we were reminded how dangerous space travel was. That was the day the Challenger exploded. I was in the cafeteria, for lunch, when an announcement was made about the explosion. It was the only time I can remember the lunch room going quiet. It was a shock. Some how we had convinced ourselves space travel was safe almost ordinary. We lost the first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe, along with Gregory Jarvis, Judith A. Resnik, Francis R. Scobee, Ronald E. McNair, Mike J. Smith, and Ellison S. Onizuka. Beyond the shock of the explosion I remember the heartbreak of my teacher.

This week holds another milestone in space. Scott Kelly marked his 300th day in space. How did he celebrate? By playing ping pong with a sphere of water. The nerd in me did a happy dance. He has less than 65 days left.

A part of me still wishes to go to space, to see the Earth from a distance. The other part is glad to keep both feet on the ground.

-CK

Reading Outside the Norm

I don’t normally read science fiction. I enjoy watching sci-fi, but not reading it. This year I am determined to read genres that I don’t normally read. I think as a writer it’s important to read beyond what your comfort zone. It’s good to push boundaries.

The Martian By Andy Weir fits that bill. I have to be honest. I never intended to read this book…until I saw the movie. I knew it was originally self-published and it was set on Mars. The movie was amazing, the dialogue was funny, and I sat praying Mark would make it back home. When I was making the Mother-Daughter Reading Challenge with my girls, this book came to mind. I knew if I was going to read a sci-fi book, it would be The Martian.

I’m 78% into the book. It’s not a quick read, at least not for me. All that science slows me down. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fascinated by it. As a child I sat glued to the TV every time a Space Shuttle was launched. I wanted to be an astronaut. Even as an adult, and I knew it wasn’t happening, I still wanted to go to space. My brain is just a little slow when math and science are involved. But the humor! The humor is perfect. I can imagine a guy stuck on Mars, alone with old 70s TV and disco music, making comments like those in the book. I love it.

Anyway, I’m on page 332 and he’s still on Mars. I hope to finish it today.  On with the goals.

Row80 Round 1 Goals

Be sure to stop by the Row80 hub and leave a little encouragement for the other participants.

-Participate in the weekly Health/Fitness Challenge at church. I have a Barre class tonight and the Zumba class tomorrow. The MLK holiday and Spelling Bee made it impossible to go to the gym Monday and Tuesday.
-Read 4 books a month, roughly 1 book a week. I am still reading The Martian by Andy Weir.
-Edit book 2 in my mystery seriesNada!
-Work on self-publishing Book 1. This round that means- participate in a manuscript swap and send MS to editor. I should finish tomorrow or early Friday. By the way, it’s a great book. I hope she seeks publication.
-Institute Meatless Monday. Yes! Well sort of. I made chicken cooked in gravy. I didn’t eat the chicken. Technically, I know it’s not vegetarian because it had chicken cooked in it, but hey it’s close enough for me. I actually did that two nights this week. 🙂
-Keep up with the local Critique Group. I had critique group Monday and have a new stack of stories to read. I’m even looking at them until next Monday.
-At some point I need to write a story I’ve plotted. Nada!

Edit/publish Mystic Brew. No new progress. When I get it back from the editor it would be nice to have a beta reader or two. It’s NOT a Christmas story. It’s actually a dark, crime short with hints of paranormal.

There you go. I’m happy with the week so far. There’s plenty of room for improvement, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel on a few of my goals.

How is your week going?

-CK