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Showing posts from March, 2010

Last Week's Reading/Writing Journey

I still have two book reviews to write for last week, plus one to send off to Poetic Monthly for next month, and two to send to Nights and Weekends for their Lunch Break E-Books column. (If you head to N&W LBE you'll see one of my lunch-break reviews, for Hearts Crossing, by Marianne Evans.) But I'm continuing to take that Reading Journey and did post reviews on gather for

Legend of the White Wolf, by Terry Spear
Phantom, by Terry Goodkind
Poltergeist, by Kat Richardson, and
Staccato, by Deborah J Ledford.

Meanwhile, I edited
306 pages of Psalms and Parables - and almost decided on Psalms in Stories for the new title (Maybe I'll write Proverbs in Parables one day to go with it)
90 pages of Exodus Tales (which follows on from my 2008 book, Genesis People), and
32 pages, plus pictures, of Revelation! Easter to Pentecost in 100 words a day (my fourth 100 words a day book, following Christmas!, Easter!, and Thanksgiving!).

Now to mail my entry for VoiceCatcher 5, figure out why L…

Boring Facts and Beautiful Blogs

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Helen Ginger gave me a beautiful blogger award, and while reading her article I watched the slideshow in her sidebar. Hers is most certainly a beautiful blog.

No slideshows here—not yet anyway—but I gather I’m meant to share seven interesting things about myself and nominate seven other beautiful bloggers…

Interesting things… I have a feeling I’ve probably shared everything interesting (and many things not) in my previous posts, but I’ll see what I can think of.

1. My youngest son graduates from college this summer.
2. My oldest son graduates from medical school on the same day.
3. They’re in different states.
4. I haven’t yet mastered the art of being in two places at once, though motherhood has at least improved my imitation of the art.
5. Motherhood has also improved my skills at doing more than two things at once…
6. …and at reading more than two books at once…
7. …and at partaking in more than two conversations at once—one per child plus one for the spouse with the aid of two phones, one…

Permanent Press and that reading journey

I've just posted my fourth review of a book about to be released by The Permanent Press. I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion, based on these and others that I read a while ago, that I like all their books. I like their cockeyed pessimist blog too...

Anyway, the latest two books are Pretend All Your Life, by Joseph Mackin, and Drake's Bay by T. A. Roberts.

Drake's Bay is a fascinating mystery. It's easy to see why the author's already had two books become Edgar Award finalists. He knows how to craft a fine mystery, and a fine sea-sailing craft. There's a brilliant sea-chase to look forward to as the book progresses from houseboat life to crumbling mansion with historical books to murder, mayhem and Amsterdam. And the hero, a quiet history professor with a young, less than quiet girlfriend, slowly unravels clues with their roots touching Elizabethan times and a father's gentle detachment in days just gone by. Click here for my gather review of Drake's …

Reading, reading, reading... and Able Danger

Reading, reading, reading those proofs till the words stop making sense... and of course, the trouble with reading proofs is you end up trying to proof-read everything. It's not the best way to approach reading a new book. But I am still finding time to read, and the journey continues slowly.

Able Danger is a book that I found reviewed on the internet (the joy of following all those fun blogs and nings). It sounded like it would provide a pleasant evening's reading - well, it did mention James Bond and I am English... - so I was pleased to get a chance to read a free copy and join the author's virtual book tour, taking place this week.

Kensington Roth has penned an interesting tale in Able Danger, full of wild conspiracy theories, round-the-globe action, and perfectly rendered accents in intriguing, realistically confusing conversations. Reading sometimes like a movie script, the book begs to be seen on the screen. And the ending certainly turns the world on end - there'…

Titles, titles...

I've got the first of my proofs and I'm slowly proof-reading. The stories are going okay but I'm not too sure of my title now, so I'm writing to ask if any of my internet friends can help.

Book 1, already on sale, is Genesis People, a set of 3-minute read-aloud stories and 30-second prayers based on characters in Genesis.

Boos 2, coming soon, is Exodus Tales - you've guessed it - a set of 3-minute read-aloud stories and 30-second prayers based on events in Genesis.

Book 3 - I'm still writing this one - is Joshua's Journeys, a set of 3-minute read-aloud stories and 30-second prayers based on the conquest of the Promised Land (mostly Deuteronomy, Joshua etc.)

Book N (not sure what N is), is currently titled Psalms and Parables, a set of 4-minute stories and 30-second prayers based on the book of Psalms.

4-minute stories? I wrote these ones first, back when children's sermons in church were allowed to be five minutes long. Then they reduced them to four.

The pro…

Proofs!

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I got two of my free proofs from Lulu in today's mail -

Revelation (an Easter to Pentecost calendar based on the book of Revelation) and

Psalms and Parables (a set of 150 children's stories based on psalms.) They books look great, but of course I'll have to read them with fine-toothed comb held firmly in hand before I go public.

Meanwhile my final proof's driving me up the wall. Time's running out and I've yet to convince the Lulu program that it's a new publication and therefore deserves a free proof. Still, they have reinstated live chat to help their users, so I'm far less frustrated than I would be otherwise. Here's hoping the coupon, and proof, arrive in time for me to make my order before the March sales event finishes - nothing like deals to make headaches and deadlines :)

A "Glorious" step on the reading journey

The Lulu deadline for free proof copies is next Tuesday, so I've been spending way too much time editing and too little time cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping and, of course, reading. But I have read some books. My continuing journey really is continuing. And the books I've read, and reviewed, this week have certainly been interesting.

Number one has to be Glorious by Bernice McFadden. There's a brilliant Book Blogger Contest going on, and since my blog has finally crossed the magical 50-followers mark (Many thanks dear followers) I was able to get a free copy of Glorious to review.

I have to say I really enjoyed this book. The author gives a flavor of different accents and ways of speaking without making the words in any way hard to read. She creates a scarily real vision of life in the American South in the early 1900's too, with scenes that make both characters and reader want to turn away. A return visit in the 60's reveals how little and how slowly things cha…

Patience is a Virtue

"Patience is a virtue." That's what my Mum would say, usually when one or another of us was failing to be patient about something. The thing I need to learn is to be patient even with computers, even with computer programs, even with other people's programs running over the internet...

I finally finished formatting and editing my 150 stories and uploaded them as a "new project" on Lulu. I was a bit dismayed by the way the "file conversion" seemed to hang at 95% complete, but... you know... patience and all that. I exercised patience, got on with reading emails and blogposts etc., and I waited.

Half an hour later (at least, that's how it seemed), 95% became 100% and I started to design my cover. I'd already made the picture I wanted (using Microsoft Paint), and I knew what words I'd need. I hadn't used the new Lulu cover creator much before, but it's really quite neat - even lets you pick colors from your picture to use in your ba…

And...

It's such a little word. "And" I do use it a lot. Quite a lot, in fact, as I've discovered while editing my 150 children's stories based on the Parables. But (that's another of my over-used words) I promised my Mum I'd get the stories published soon (self-published on Lulu - they've been the rounds of real publishers and even got a "really interested" from one, but nothing more). So I've been working on them, "and" removing "and"s.... and "but"s.

Meanwhile, on NPR this morning someone was talking about the misuse of "like" in the younger generation. The only problem was the misuse of "y'know" throughout the discussion. I guess we all have our favorites. In my world we used to say "Um" and "Er" instead, which was equally uninformative. And a close friend in England says "Right."

I'm trying to check that my dialog sounds okay in those 150 stories, but the…

Still taking that journey

I'm still Taking that Reading Journey, and I found a way to work out how many points I've made each month. Current totals... Jan 168, Feb 208, March 17. I've just posted some more book reviews too

Incendiary by Chris Cleave - an amazing tale of large events writ small in the life of a London woman. (I wrote a review of Chris Cleave's Little Bee last week. I'm hooked. He's a really great writer!)
Passing Fancies by A. F. Stewart, a very enjoyable collection of short stories and drabbles, perfect for keeping on the desktop of your computer (or by your coffee mug, though you may prefer not to eat jammy dodgers while reading some of them).
Thunder and Blood, by Stacey Voss, who hopes to give birth to both the sequel and a new baby sometime soon.
a theory of all things, by Peggy Leon: Okay, I posted this review earlier, but the book's just come out, so you might want to give it a look. Seriously, it's one of the best books I've read recently, by an author wh…

Aghghghgh! So much for procrastination...

Once upon a time we had this nice little email account. We used to plan to delete old emails, but of course, they kept falling off the screen and getting forgotten. And in those "old days" we didn't even have nice directories to hide them in, or email search features. But periodically we'd get the "your storage is almost full" message and we'd clean everything out. It would take an evening or so...

But that was then and this is now. And our super-duper, ever-expanding email account with multiple directories and easy access to search has served us beautifully for the last 5 years. Of course, we always intended to clean it out periodically too, but since it never got full, we never had to.

Then came the dreaded message yesterday... we are going to discontinue your subscription to... there will be no change in your fees... you might want to switch your email address to...

... and lose or keep a gazillion emails that haven't been sorted in years? Ah well. …