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Books / time: the story January 6, 2019

Posted by thejinx in books, life.
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I love reading (as is probably obvious). Even my 7-year-old daughter now says, “you can’t have too many books”, gets excited when we go to the bookstore, and says “booooks” hungrily when confronted with a stack of them.

But I’ll admit I’m not the most prolific reader. The main excuses for that are that I spend free time engaged with other pastimes (writing) and a silly fear of commitment over starting new books. I also don’t consider myself a very fast reader, so I don’t get through books as quickly as perhaps I could.

2017 was my best year yet for reading since I started tracking my books read on Goodreads, at 26. However, I followed that up in 2018 with a paltry 10. Well, 11 when you count one book that wasn’t on Goodreads.

Granted, that’s only the measure of the books I read for enjoyment. That doesn’t count the thirty or forty books I read as part of my freelance work, or the handful of books I read (or reread) for Brain Lag. But it does seem a little sad after such a good 2017. And considering the number of new books I picked up last year, it does make me want to read more.

I’ve started the year on the right foot, at least. Whereas last year, I had a gap through to the end of March without any books read for pleasure, I finished my first book of 2019 tonight. It was even one I’ve been meaning to read for a few years. Progress!

I managed to whittle down my TBR shelf (we’ll pretend that row of books hidden behind them aren’t there) to six or seven before I started buying more new books last year. Maybe if I keep at it, I can finally get through those books I bought and haven’t read yet. (Again, we’re not mentioning all the books behind them on the shelf, or the dozens of ebooks I have on Kindle and Google Play.) Maybe if I do that, I can get back to some series I’ve partially read, or start reading other books I’ve been wanting to check out for years, read some authors and titles I’ve heard such good things about.

Or maybe I’ll continue getting lost in whatever ebook I happen to open in a moment of boredom or picking up whatever shiny title catches my eye at the library.

Some people may lament the idea of there being so many books that one cannot possibly hope to read all the ones they desire in a lifetime, but to me, I find reassurance in the knowledge that I’ll always have something to read.

I’d like 2019 to be a better year for books for me. I’ll make it a better year. I’ve never set myself reading goals on Goodreads, but maybe I’ll do that this year. I spend too much time goofing around on mobile games because of this weird anxiety over starting new books, when I’ve plenty of minutes throughout the day that I can find to get some reading in. It’s not hard to start a new book, and I know that.

It’s a new year. Time for new stories.

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Day Five: The First Close Call November 5, 2010

Posted by thejinx in enduring chaos, nanowrimo, writing.
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Down to the wire, I just managed to eke out 1,678 words by 11:55 pm, though I wouldn’t call it a success.  A busy day and a sudden compulsion to review recently downloaded music – though I don’t regret the latter, and incidentally, I highly recommend the Celtic stylings of Mark Gunn – left me with a daily total of 0 words up until 10:30 tonight.  As a result, I rushed through tonight’s progress, providing little deviation from the last draft and even less quality writing.  While it’s not necessarily a bad foundation for what’s actually going to happen, I can already say that perhaps all of what I wrote tonight will have to be scrapped.

Ah well.  The foundation is the important part, and I did get my daily word count in, if barely.  I’m tempted to ease up on my personal word count goals, given the head start I have now, and considering I don’t need to worry about the “unsuccessful days” tally that has now been removed from the NaNo statistics.  But, tomorrow looks to be a much quieter day, one that I can hopefully use to make some real, good progress.

(As a side note, I apologize for the wordiness of this post.  Forcing out as many words in as little time as possible is not an easy gear to switch from.)

Day Three: The First Hurdle November 3, 2010

Posted by thejinx in enduring chaos, nanowrimo, writing.
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A restless night of sleep and feeling under the weather all day coupled with a challenging part of the story made for a day of writing that can only be described as adequate.  I added the bare minimum to my novel in an entire day of available writing time – though I will admit satisfaction at having finally finished an 1,100-page book I’ve been working on for some time – equating to all of 1,676 words.

I shouldn’t complain, as I’m still ahead of the game.  I struggled because my two characters don’t want to talk to each other, and they prefer it that way.  I’m still learning how to show rather than tell in my writing, and trying to portray what I need to with at least one of the characters saying as little as possible makes things interesting.

The real challenge of this part of the story is that there’s a roughly two-week span that I glossed over in the last draft.  When I posted that part online, I got comments that I should go into more detail about what happened during that time, a sentiment I don’t disagree with, but considering it now, it doesn’t really seem relevant to the story.  Trying to decide what is needed here made for a lot of my writing conflict today, and I ended up doing a bit of skipping over and writing a different POV just to get the words in.

This is what NaNoWriMo is all about.  Honestly, I’m sure it’s quite good for me to have to run headlong into these issues so I can try to work them out sooner rather than later.

I just hope I get some better sleep tonight.