Bank Holiday Read-a-thons

Hey guys,

Last month I took part in Dewey’s 24 hour read-a-thon and I had a blast. It had been a long time since I’d allowed myself time to read, and I don’t just mean the odd half an hour here and there, I mean an actual solid length of time. I hadn’t spent a day in bed with a book for ages and it was so relaxing.

In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I’ve decided to take advantage of the two 3 day weekends that I have coming up this month (thank you May bank holidays) and do a couple of mini read-a-thons. I thought Sundays would be the best day to do them as I generally have things to do on the Saturdays, and with the bonus of no work on the Mondays I can stay up till the early hours. Therefore, the read-a-thons will be on the 3rd (tomorrow!) and the 24th of May, probably just going from when I wake up to when I fall asleep. I’ll be sharing my reading on my Instagram using the hashtag #bankholreadathon.

Here is my read-a-thon shortlist. I definitely want to finish Ready Player One and get to The Start of Me and You and Saga Volume 4. The rest I’ll just pick and choose from, dependent on my mood.

May 3 readathon

Please feel free to join me in either of the read-a-thons and be sure to put usernames for Instagram or Twitter down in the comments so that I can follow you and cheer you along.

The Great TBR Challenge: May Edition!

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It would seem that I am finally over my reading slump (huzzah!) and I’ve got some really great books on my TBR pile that I can’t wait to get to.

So, here are the books I’m hoping to read during the month of May.

ReadyREADY PLAYER ONE by ERNEST CLINE

I’ve already started this and I’m currently about halfway through. I’m absolutely in love with the 80s and every page of this book is filled with amazing references to some of my favourite movies, TV series, comics, and bands. Basically it’s appealing to my nerdiness in a big way.

Me & YouTHE START OF ME & YOU by EMERY LORD

I really enjoyed Open Road Summer when I read it back in January and this books sounds right up my alley. I can’t wait to read it.

Saint AnythingSAINT ANYTHING by SARAH DESSEN

If Sarah Dessen writes it, I’m going to read it. I think that’s all that needs to be said.

FinnikinFINNIKIN OF THE ROCK by MELINA MARCHETTA

This book has been recommended to me over and over again, so I didn’t hesitate and snatched it up when I saw it at my local library. I can’t wait to dig into Finnikin, it’s been a long time since I read a really great fantasy series. The only problem I’m finding with this series is that only the first book seems to be available in the UK atm, despite the fact that all the books are out in the US.

Reaper ManREAPER MAN by TERRY PRATCHETT

I finished Mort last month and really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d continue on with the Death collection this month. Reaper Man is also the introduction to the Death of Rats, whom I love. How do you guys read the Discworld series? In numerical order, or do you go reach the collections?

Saga 4SAGA (VOLUME 4) by BRIAN K. VAUGHAN & FIONA STAPLES

I’ve been raving about this series constantly, so I’ll keep this brief – I already know Saga Volume 4 is going to be epic and I’m probably going to be lost until volume 5 comes out.

Winter SoldierCAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER by ED BRUBAKER

I’ve been wanting to get into the Marvel comic book universe for a while now, but the thing is, the Marvel Universe is huge. I honestly had no idea where to begin or who’s story line to start off with. It’s mind boggling. But I finally got round to watching Captain America: Winter Soldier last month (I know, it took me a long time) and it was probably one of my favourite Marvel films I’ve seen. So I’ve decided to start my Marvel comic journey there.

I’m actually hoping to get to more books than this, since I will be doing 2 mini read-a-thons this month, but I want to set my goals too high.

 What are you reading this month, lovelies?

Camp NaNoWriMo, Day Eight

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Where I should be: 13,334 words

Where I actually am: 13,576 words

Word count for today: 1,755 words

Favourite line: Her wings were a thing of wonder. They were stunning, like a snowy owls almost, white and speckled, and they ran over her head and all the way down to the levels of her ankles. Every feather was soft and unique and simply her own.’ – Damaged Souls, chapter four.

 

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One week into Camp NaNoWriMo and I’ve already started to become unfocused. While I’m really happy with the direction the story is taking and how the words are finally starting to flow, I’ve got this little voice in the back of my head telling me that I’m wasting my time. I don’t know if it’s typical writers nerves, you know that little voice that tells you that nothing you write will ever be good enough, or whether there might be some truth in it. I have two manuscripts that currently need editing, and I feel like I should be spending every spare moment focusing on them, instead of writing something new. But I’ve been editing for months and I keep telling myself that I need a break. It’s probably just my brain messing with me, as it generally does when I’m drafting.

Perhaps I need to go in search of some more inspiration for this story, take a step back and do some more outlining, try to refocus. I definitely need to stop opening up my ‘writing’ folder and staring at all the other projects that are waiting for me in there. Or maybe I just need to hurry up and introduce the rest of my characters, as well as more action.

How is Camp NaNoWriMo going for you? Well, I hope. How do you stay focused when you’re brain is all over the place?

Camp NaNoWriMo, Day Seven

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Where I should be:  11,667 words

Where I actually am: 11,821 words

Word count for today: 1,723 words

Favourite line: It had only been after she died, when Cassie had watched her parents grieving, did she hear her nickname come out of her mothers mouth.’ – Damaged Souls, chapter three.

 

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I CAUGHT UP!!

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Last night I actually managed to catch up on my Camp NaNoWriMo word count goal! And I’m determined to stay on level with it for the rest of the month now that I’ve finally got there!

The story is starting to flow and I’m developing clear character voices for both of my points of view. While I’m not happy with some of it – I’m going to have to cut out A LOT of rambling – I’m glad that the draft is actually starting to take shape now. I keep reminding myself that first drafts are allowed to suck and that I’m doing the right thing by exploring as many ideas as possible. During this stage, I always remember how wonderful and how terrible writing a draft actually is. It’s wonderful because it gives you ultimate freedom to explore every avenue, to see what works and what doesn’t, but at the same time it’s hard writing something that I know needs so much work.

You can’t fix a blank page though, right?

How are you getting on with Camp NaNoWriMo?

Camp NaNoWriMo, Day Six

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Where I should be: 10,000 words

Where I actually am: 8,495 words

Word count for today: 2,062 words

Favourite line:Or maybe it’s because children have infinite imaginations and they haven’t had a chance to grow bitter and cynical about the world yet.’ – Damaged Souls, Chapter Two.

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I’ve had a couple of really good writing days, managing over 2K a day, and I’m almost caught up! Yesterday I was starting to feel like I was never going to catch up and I hate being behind so early on because I lose momentum and then give up. Not now though, I have 1.5K to go until I hit my target and a couple of more hours left of the night, so I’m determined to get there before I go to sleep.

I’ve finally managed to silence that pesky inner editor of mine, or maybe I’ve just bribed her with enough chocolate over the weekend that she’s shut up. Either way, I’m charging ahead with this draft and I’m not looking back until I’ve reached the end.

How was your weekend? Are you still on track for you Camp NaNo goals?

Camp NaNoWriMo, Day Four

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Where I should be: 6,667 words

Where I actually am: 4,179 words

Word count for today: 635 words

Favourite line: Soft tendrils of silver began to ebb through the layers of skin and tissue and organs.’ – Damaged Souls, chapter one.

So I spent the majority of today re-writing what I wrote yesterday because I wasn’t happy with it. I know this isn’t the point of Camp NaNoWriMo but I can’t seem to get rid of my pesky inner editor lately. Every word is progress though, so I’m grateful for every new word I added today and I’m much happier with the writing in general. Dare I say it, I’m finally starting to get back into the swing of this novel.

I’ve been listening to a lot of AFI over the last couple of days, and I think that’s helping a lot. Every song seems to pull me further and further into this story. Not only are they one of my favourite bands, but the tone of their music is perfect for this novel. BLACK SAILS IN THE SUNSET, THE ART OF DROWNING and SING THE SORROW are probably going to be on constant repeat this month. And lately I’ve been starting off every writing session by listening to ‘Days of the Phoenix’.

How is Camp NaNoWriMo going for you? Do you have any songs that really inspire you to write your story?

Camp NaNoWriMo, Day Three

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Where I should be: 5,000 words

Where I actually am: 3,544 words

Word count for today: 1,438 words

Favourite line: ‘The tip of the knife bit into the soft flesh of Cassie’s palm, and she dragged it down until it split the skin in two.’ – Damaged Souls, chapter one

I had the best of intentions today. I had 3K to write to be able to catch up with my word count goal. I thought to myself, that’s easy, I’ve written way more than that in a day before, but then I woke up late and with a headache this morning. It took me ages to really get into the swing of writing, so I’m ending the day on less than 1.5K for the day and still 1.5K short of where I need to be. I don’t know why, but I’m really struggling with this story this time around. I’m trying to make every word perfect, instead of simply getting the words down on the page. This needs to stop. It is only a first draft after all.

I’ve been watching this video by Jackson Pearce a lot recently. In fact, I turn to it a lot when I’m struggling with writing (and her youtube channel in general). It has some of the best writing advice I have ever head and I always find it really inspiring.

How did day 3 go for you?