Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Maunder: Thankfully Reading Weekend Wrap-Up

Last week, I shared with that I would be participating in the Thankfully Reading Weekend hosted by Jenn's Bookshelves.  I was really hoping to get in some good relaxing reading over the long weekend.  It's now time to take a look at how it really ended.

I was able to complete three books:
  1. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
  2. Fables #21:  Happily Ever After by Bill Willingham
  3. Fables #22:  Farewell by Bill Willingham
I was also able to listen to my audiobook of Atlas Shrugged for a bit, though probably only a couple of hours worth.

Overall, it was such a nice, relaxing weekend, and one that I desperately needed from all the chaos that has been happening in my life.  It felt so good to sit on my couch almost all day Friday and read.  It felt good to finally read the finale of Fables, though it also proved to be bitter sweet.  I did not get as much read as I was hoping, but I'm okay with that.  I am pleased with the reading that I was able to accomplish and not stressed over numbers and quotas.  That is what matters to me in the end.  

Did you participate in the Thankfully Reading Weekend?  Either way, what was your reading like over the last week?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

2015 Thankfully Reading Weekend

I am so excited to be joining in the Thankfully Reading Weekend, hosted by Jenn of Jenn's Bookshelves.  Before I dive into my personal details and goals, let's take a quick look at what Jenn has to say about this readathon weekend . . .
There are no rules to the weekend, we’re simply hoping to devote a good amount of time to reading, and perhaps meeting some of our reading challenges and goals for the year. We thought it’d be fun if we cheered each other on a bit.

My reading and writing has taken a huge hit the last couple of months with starting a new job, moving, and taking a class.  This weekend is a great opportunity for me to get a few things done around the house, around the blog, and in the books, so I could not pass up the chance to jump in on this readathon.  Here's a quick peek into the books that I will be working on this weekend . . .

My current read is Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill.  I started it a little while ago, but have not had the chance to really devote the time that I have wanted.  That is changing.  I have already spent more time reading it today than I have in the last week!  After that, I hope to dive into the graphic novels/comics, and then get Boy Snow Bird started by the end of the weekend for an upcoming book club discussion.  I am also hoping to get in some good audiobook time with Atlas Shrugged, and maybe even a good chunk of reading time with my kids with The Secret Garden.

I do not plan on keeping track of pages or time read this time around.  Instead, I am just going to go into this weekend with a relaxed attitude and get as much read as I can.  I will be back on Monday to share my wrap-up with details on how the weekend goes.  Between now and then, you can find any updates from me on Twitter and Instagram.

Will you be participating in the Thankfully Reading Weekend?  What are your reading plans?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Monday Maunder: Feeling Thankful

Yes, yes, I know.  It is not Monday.  This seems to be quite the theme this year for my weekly ramblings.  Maybe I need to rethink the name of this feature!  It is almost the new year, so I will add it to my list for 2016!

In the meantime, I just wanted to pop in and say how thankful I am feeling these days.  I have been so busy with everything these last few months, but it has been a good busy.  I am loving my new house, especially as it slowly feels more and more like our home.  I am thankful for my new job.  I find myself doing something a little different every day, getting to read books to children during class meetings, teaching Kindergartners how to read, and facing many challenges.  At the end of the day, I still find that I am loving what I do despite the difficulties that I may face.  And, most importantly, I am thankful for my family that I can come home to at the end of every day.  They are amazing and supportive and absolutely weird, and I wouldn't want it any other way!

I have found myself looking back on my life one year ago.  I was in a job that made me miserable, feeling sick with only more illness to come, and questioning many things in my life.  It is truly amazing the difference a year can make.  

I still have so many things that I want to do, changes I want to make to my house or my life, places I want to visit, books I want to read, etc., but I today I am pausing to be thankful for what I have in the present.  And, I have a lot to be thankful for!

What are you thankful for?  

Friday, November 20, 2015

Father & Son Month of Frights: Wrap-Up

It's time to wrap-up the Father & Son Month of Frights!  I don't really want to, but the last day has come and gone and it is time to chat about what we read and what we thought.

For those that are not sure what the event was, let's do a quick recap:

What: Father & Son Month of Frights -- A focus on reading anything and everything by a father (Stephen King) and his son (Joe Hill).

When: October 15 - November 15, 2015

So, let's talk about what we read!

I listened to two different audiobooks by Stephen King -- Misery and Christine.  I really enjoyed Misery (a full review to come soon with lots more details).  Christine was also good, but I did not appreciate it on the same level as Misery.  I have really enjoyed reading some of King's backlist titles.  I think I may be almost caught up on his old work.  I think I actually have a post somewhere with a list of all his work and all that I have read.  I'm thinking it might be time to find it and update it with all the latest books I have read.

I also was able to start Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill.  I have not yet finished it, but I can already tell that I like his writing style!

What were you able to read during the Father & Son Month of Frights?  What did you think about the books you did get read?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Maunder: Zombies, Heroes, and a Grimm, Oh My!

I officially submitted my final paper for my class yesterday!  Now, I just wait to see how I did in the class.  With one less responsibility on my plate, that means I had a little extra me time this last weekend, and I spent it catching up on reading and a few television shows.  I don't usually spend a lot of time watching TV, but these are shows that I will watch religiously!

I am not a huge fan of this season so far.  I have appreciated previous seasons more, and find myself just annoyed and feeling like I am just being played with.  For my constant readers, you will likely know that I have read a good chunk of the graphic novels that have inspired the show.  I have ideas of where the show is going, but I sadly cannot feel extreme feelings either way this season.  And trust me when I say that Glenn is one that I have felt pretty strongly about in both mediums.  I guess we will just have to see where the show will take us from here.

I was so very excited to hear that they were rebooting this show because the original was one of my faves.  I was very disappointed when the show did not return.  After finally catching up on this season, I have to say that I am really enjoying it.  I have loved seeing old characters return, and have loved meeting new characters along the way (hello Zachary Levi!!).  I really just cannot get enough of this show, or the concept behind it!

I will be the first to admit that this show is weird, but that's what I love about it, especially considering that  I am a huge fairy tale fan.  I have enjoyed the off-the-wall concept, but rarely find fellow fans of the show.  And, this season has added so many complications that I cannot wait to see how they are resolved.

I will be back next week talking more writing and books, but I would love to have some fellow fans commiserate with me on these shows.  I want to hear what you are thinking of the current season, theories on where they might be going from here, and more.

What are your thoughts on these television shows?  Are you a fellow fan?  Or, do you prefer to watch something else when you are in the mood for television?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Maunder: Currently (4)

Time:  8:37 PM MST

The Scene:  Sitting in my big chair, listening to a little football in the background.

Drinking:  7UP. 

Reading:  I had an unexpected day off today because one of my kids was sent home from school sick.  I should have been working on so many other things, but instead I decided to read for enjoyment.  I have not done this in so long and it felt soooooo good.  I finished The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty today.  I am back to reading Around the Writer's Block by Roseanne Bane, am listening to Christine by Stephen King, and finally picked back up Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan with my kids.  I have another handful of books that I'm working on, but the only other one of note is The Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill.  I hope to dive into that one in the next couple of days before Father & Son Month of Frights ends.

Writing:  I'm writing.  I wanted to be writing for NaNoWriMo, but I have not yet found myself starting that new project yet.  Instead, I am writing the final papers due for my class, which have been so time consuming.  I have also found myself blogging (more below).  My final paper is due at the end of this week, so after that I hope that my focus will shift to getting regular posts back here on the blog and writing on my new NaNo project that I can't stop thinking about.  Either way, I am keeping track of all my words written, no matter where they may be.  I am doing this for NaNo, but I am also doing it for Sit Down and Write 7 hosted by the fabulous Michelle at Stories Inside.  I am going to try to post a check-in sometime next week, complete with current numbers, so be watching for it.

Blogging:  It has been slow, but I know that it is going to be picking up.  I have also been blogging over at Book Bloggers International.  I have been running a themed month of FEATURED FAVORITES, and there have already been some fun things running over there.  If you are interested in joining in the fun by sharing one of your own favorites, let me know.  We still have spots available!!

Watching:  I have been making time to watch a few favorite shows, but I am not caught up on all of them yet.  THE WALKING DEAD is the one that I do tend to watch on a regular basis though!  I am not as excited about this season so far as I have been with other seasons, but I still watch ... and yes, I also have opinions on the whole Glenn situation!  The other shows that I am watching, but not quite caught up on are HEROES REBORN and GRIMM.  I am really enjoying both!  
Promoting:  I already mentioned it above, but I'm mentioning it here again ... FEATURED FAVORITES over at Book Bloggers International!

Listening:  I am mostly listening to my audiobooks (no surprise there)!  But, I am going to leave you with a song that has become a little popular in our household lately.  It's one that is frequently stuck in my head, and one that my children are trying to teach me to dance every single time it plays.  Please send help! 

What is currently going on with you ... reading, writing, watching, listening, promoting, or all of the above?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday Maunder: October 2015 in Review

Welcome to another month in review!  

October proved to be a challenging month.  I took a class.  Renovations on the new house progressed, both planned and unplanned.  Life was busy as I drove my children to their many activities, and my job kept me busy both during the days and nights.  It has been chaotic, but really it has been a good chaos.  However, I am also really looking forward to life slowing down a bit, even if the holidays will bring their own crazy into my life.

Life in the books slowed down quite a bit during the past month.  Here are the details . . .

The TOP POST for the month was Announcing Father & Son Month of Frights, both in comments and hits.  I recently posted a midway check-in for this event, and I am so excited to get to Joe Hill in the weeks to come.

The TOP PIC was this autumn beauty!  It was taken as I meandered on a nature hike during one of my weekend classes.  I loved the pop of color, and the opportunity to get out of the classroom for a bit.

My list of BOOKS READ for the month is small.  I have not finished one physical book, so I am thankful for the audiobooks in my life!  The list is below:

  1. Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup
  2. Dragon Factory by Jonathan Maberry
  3. Misery by Stephen King

All of these books were really quite good reads, but the FAVORITE READ that stood out for me was Misery by King.  I really hope to write a full discussion post on this one, so stay tuned for that one (hopefully, in the near future).

So, what can I expect to come in November?  So very much!!  I will be officially finishing up my class by completing two final papers.  I will be participating in Sit Down and Write 7 and of course, National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo).  We will hopefully be finishing up the renovations in the kitchen and dining room.  And, we will be eating some good food for Thanksgiving dinner!  I have so much to look forward to!

What were your highlights in October?  What are you looking forward to in November?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Father & Son Month of Frights: Midway Check-In

Welcome to the midway check-in for the 
Father & Son Month of Frights!

For those who have missed it, let me share a quick overview of the event:
Father & Son Month of Frights is an event focused on the books of Stephen King (the father) and Joe Hill (his son) from October 15-November 15, 2015.  For more information, you can find the original announcement post here.

Now, time for the check-in . . .

I have primarily been focusing on Stephen King works thanks to audiobooks.  I have not had much time to read physical books these last couple of weeks with a graduate class and house renovations, so thankfully I have had audiobooks to keep me company.  At this time, I have completed Misery and am about halfway through Christine.  I was quite impressed with the former and am enjoying the latter, but not quite as much.

I hope to get to both Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill as well as his 20th Century Ghosts before the conclusion of this event on November 15.  If I have time to listen to one more audio, then I will likely try Tommyknockers by King.  It is one of the few earlier novels that I have not yet read.

Don't forget, you can find additional updates on Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #fathersonfright.  I anticipate additional chatter on my end during this second half as my life will hopefully be less hectic.

You're turn:  What books have you been reading?  What have you thought so far?  Any specific recommendations for fellow participants during the second half of the event?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Monday Maunder: Oh My, It's Wednesday!!

Oh my, is time flying by?!?  I cannot believe that I missed my usual Monday post earlier this week, and that it took me this long to realize that I was days behind.  I've decided to just give you a quick check-in because life has been CRAZY!!

I am officially done traveling for my class!!  Woohoo!!  I still have four assignments that I need to complete, and I'm cracking down to get those done as soon as I can.  I'm ready to wrap this thing up!

In house news, we are still working on painting and renovating.  We are almost done with the kitchen, but have had a setback that was actually a big reason behind why I am posting so late this week.  Our fridge has completely died!  We have had to throw out sooooo much food, but thankfully we were able to save a handful of our frozen items by rushing them to a friend's freezer.  At this time, we have no idea when we will get a new fridge, but we are hoping for a freezer by the weekend.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that we can get all of this figured out by Thanksgiving time.  You might want to keep your fingers crossed as well!

In reading news, there has not been much change.  I am currently listening to Christine by Stephen King, and am still reading The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty.  I also have a number of other books on my nightstand, including some final reading I am doing for my class.

Last, but not least, I am trying to prepare for another year of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  I have participated the last few years, working on the same story, and have not had much luck.  This year, I have decided to drop that story and give another one a go.  I'm hoping to work on getting a rough outline finished this weekend, then diving into the writing!

I really do have a lot more on my plate than this, but these are really just the highlights.  I will not be posting any more this week as I work on those last homework assignments and NaNo prep.  However, I'm hoping to be back soon with lots more.  I have so many things that I have been wanting share.  I just need the time to sit down and write them!

What are some of your recent highlights in life?  What are you currently reading?  Do you intend to participate in NaNoWriMo this year?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday Maunder: Quick Check-In!

Today, I will only be checking in briefly.  I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and a bit under the weather, so I'm going to be very brief this week.  

I am officially two-thirds done with my class.  Traveling two hours away and taking a class over the weekend has proven to be exhausting.  I am thankful that I only have one more weekend left.

I cannot get into any physical books right now.  With required readings and so much to do around the house, audiobooks have proven to be my sanctuary these days, especially during those house in the car back and forth to class.

Speaking of audiobooks, I am almost done with Misery by Stephen King.  There is so much I am impressed with in this story, but I will save those details for later.  I am not sure what my next read will be, but I'm hoping for another King.

Why King?!?  Well, because I am currently celebrating my Father & Son Month of Frights!  I would love to have you join me!!  

I will leave you on that note for the night.  Hopefully, I will be back later this week with a fun post that I've been saving for far too long.

What are you currently reading?  What else is happening in your neck of the woods?