Weekly Reading Goals: 8/21-8/27

Every Sunday I go on my BookTube Channel and talk about whatever goals I have for the upcoming week. These videos are more for my benefit (I have to at least TRY if I tell you I’m going to do something) but several people have responded well to them and so I keep going. This week, I decided to things a bit differently. I discussed my goals for reading and writing very quickly, and moved on to other life goals. The more in-depth look at reading goals will go here, on my reading blog (and the writing goals will grace my writing blog.) Simple right? So why did it take me so long to come up with the idea….let’s not go there.

Now that the intro stuff is out of the way, let’s get into the meat of the matter.
My week’s Reading Goals:

  1. Read 300+ pages.

Some of you might find that number to be small potatoes. Others of you might be blown away by it. The truth is, this number was a fairly arbitrary pick for me, so let’s break it down.

a. Clayton Stone at Your Service by Ena Jones

This MG book is 180 pages long but I started it last night so I have about 150

more to go. That’s approximately 1/2 of my reading goal this week.

b.  A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

I am currently on page 515 of 807 so, technically, I have completed this   week’s read-a-long goal. However, I have been reading at least a chapter or two before bed every night and see absolutely no reason to stop that habit at this point. If I read about 100 pages this week, that leaves around 50 left in my goal

c. Heartless By Gail Carriger

The 4th book in the Parasol Protectorate series, I borrowed Heartless from

Overdrive on e-book and I am having a hard time reading it in this format

(my eyes are horrid). However, 50 pages should be fairly easy to accomplish.

BONUS: The Faceless Ones By Derek Landy

No pages here, this is a strictly audio endeavor, which I intend to complete

today. Skullduggery Pleasant is too funny to put away for long.

 

SO what are you reading this week? Leave me a comment and let’s chat about it! Happy week 😀

 

 

Saturday Stories 2/27

Hello my friends! Sorry I’ve been so MIA the past two weeks, I seem to have had time getting away from me lately. Though looking back on the month I don’t seem to have really accomplished all that much, but I have been extremely busy. So, let’s figure out how I did and get to the short story reward, like the gooey chocolate at the center of crunchy cake pop :).

To recap my ‘goals’ for the week, you can go watch this video and see what I thought I could do.

Goal Updates:

Writing – 

I was supposed to type up everything I have handwritten and ready to type. Unfortunately my much loved laptop has been a little too loved and my programs are not working as well as they should (and I procrastinated a little) so I only got a few pages of Paulonious Punk taken care of. I did, however, purchase a new laptop so I can move my hundreds of word documents over and get back to writing!

 

Reading –

I completed Truthwitch and gave it a 4 out of 5 stars. The writing is gorgeous and the story is a fast paced thing of beauty. I’ll have a full review up sometime soon(ish).

 

Sewing/Coloring/Exercising – 

I managed to get a princess dress cut out for the little monkey and am going to try to sew it up today around my band practice schedule.

I did not complete the coloring pages, but I did a little more coloring on them and expect to have both completed this weekend.

As for exercising, I was able to go 3 days this week and the other 2 I was very active at home. I also upped my weight training weights to the next level, which made me super excited!

Now on to the good stuff! This week’s story excerpt is from a novel I began several years ago…and then kind of abandoned in pursuit of a different story. Here is the first bit of Sylvester, hopefully there will be more some day.

Sylvester

“I have to.” The words were simple, the gaze steady as Annabelle watched Sylvester pace the clearing. “No, you don’t. Those people don’t even know you, you don’t know them. Why are you so intent on helping those who would cast you aside if they knew who you really were?”

He was irritated, and had a right to be. His girlfriend, the woman who he had been on the brink of proposing to, had just informed him she was going to hop worlds and help people she had never met to defeat some nameless threat. Not only that, but to do what she was planning, she would disappear from their world and become a baby in the other. He might never see her again, all for some people she had only seen in a dream.

“I’m sorry, I have to. I hope you’ll understand someday love. Goodbye.”

Then she was gone. A world away a child screamed into the night. “It’s a girl.”

Chapter One

As a child, Brianna had dreams of another world. One where magic was as natural as air and people watched and waited for her. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, Bri knew these people. Sometimes she could remember their names, and would excitedly turn to them, but she would always wake at this point, dream memories niggling at her brain until she pushed them aside. As she grew the dreams became more in depth, more real. She would wake smelling the scents of otherworldly kitchens, feeling the softness of otherworldly grass.

She began seeing the people from her dreams out of the corner of her eye, in broad daylight. She would sense them watching her, urging her to something she couldn’t understand, or rather, felt as if she couldn’t remember. In defense, she turned to the things all teenage girls find interest in: sports, music, books, friends, and, of course, boys.

If there were those that watched her grow, rejoiced for her achievements, grieved in her failures, that was their business. And if there were those that watched a little more closely than others, whose heart broke a little with each new boyfriend, they did so in silence. All watched with bated breath as she began the path that would lead her to her destiny. Some watched, wishing they could help. Some watched waiting for their chance to foil her fate. None of them, though, could have imagined what would come next.

Saturday Stories 2/13/16

Welcome to my weekly goal update! If you missed my weekly goals here is my video from last Sunday!

 

So I know what you’re thinking…You want to know how I did on my goals right? That’s the point of this update each week after all.

  1. Little Monster – I need help. For some reason the last few pages of my daughter’s adorable picture book are not allowing me to put the text boxes on the pictures. Every time I try, the picture disappears, or the words won’t show up, and/or the program crashes. I only have 2 pages left!!! If you have any suggestions please let me know. I’m becoming incredibly frustrated with this!
  2. The Way We Were – I realized this week that while Eliza and Brent have very full sections, the other 5 members of the group  don’t really have that much going on, and neither do the villains. So, I need to work on getting those sections fleshed out and re-organized with new material before the second half of the book can be contemplated. Which is really not a big deal, it just means more short stories AND re-writing everything. Re-writing because the other thing I realized is that most of the characters sound incredibly similar. That’s not necessarily horrible but, I want their personalities to shine and right now they’re more ‘group’ than ‘individual’ so that combination needs work. I think that might be for the next set of revisions though!
  3. Short Story – NOT TYPED…I read over it, I wrote a new one, I haven’t typed either of them.
  4. ReadingCurio by Evangeline Denmark  – I am little over half-way through this book. So far it is a 3.5 – 4 star read and I’m looking forward to finishing that this weekend.
  5. Wellness Center –  I exercised 4 out of 5 days last week. Wednesday I was so sore and generally blah that I only did a set of crunches at home. Friday I went out with my friend for a shopping/birthday expedition and did not do any mindful exercises…but chasing a 3 year old through Cato’s and Hastings probably counts!

So those are the updates on my listed goals. I also colored a few pictures and sewed a couple of baby things (Pictures to come when they’re completely finished! My nephews will be so dapper).

Now for the fun stuff! This week’s short will be an excerpt from My House, a novel I wrote early on in college and which I’m going to re-imagining into a slightly more in-depth and quickly paced story at some point. (and, you know, better written…*sigh* I thought I was so good back then…)

ENJOY!

Chapter Four

I broke the speed limit all the way home, but thankfully no cops stopped to question me. I pulled in the parking lot, slammed the car into park and got out, working very hard to keep from bursting into a run. I got to my apartment door and went to unlock it, but it was already unlocked. Thinking that was strange but that maybe I had forgotten to lock it when I left that morning, I walked in. I was taking a look around, just in case someone had broken in, when I felt an arm go around my waist and a hand cover my mouth. I swallowed a scream and prepared to kick backwards, hoping to injure the man holding me enough so that he would let go. Just as I was bringing my leg up to deliver the kick, Billy walked into view, eating one of my yellow apples.

“I always like this kind best. Thanks kid,” he said as he grinned at me. “So, how ya been sis? You never write, you never call, if you’re not careful I’ll think you hate me. Let her go Bruce, she won’t do anything.”

“Billy Dean McKlain isn’t it just like you to break into your little sister’s house when all you had to do was knock. Oh, and for the record I don’t hate you, I just severely dislike who  you’ve become, old man.” Like I said, I was never good at holding my tongue, especially when my brothers had smirks on their faces like the one Billy was sending my way. “So are you going to tell me what you want or can I go ahead and throw you out?”

“There’s no need to get snippy, I thought we could chat a little before we started in on business. After all, we haven’t seen each other in a very long time.” Billy continued to smirk at me; he threw the apple core out of an open window nearby and motioned to the doorway entering the living room, “After you.”

I paused in the middle of the doorway. Looking back at him I thought of the house I had visited and all of the happy memories our family had made there. I couldn’t help but wonder, and in wondering ask, “Billy, what made us become this way? We used to be so happy living at that old house with momma and daddy. We used to laugh together, not break into our sibling’s houses and threaten each other.”

Billy glared at me, dropping that cool demeanor in front of me for the first time in years, “You want to know what happened? I’ll tell you what happened, Daddy died and left us all. He just left us and we had to live with the facts that he never had the nerve to tell us when he was alive. His own friend shot him for money and left us without a father. Maybe you can overlook our past and the ties that bind us to each other, to him, to momma, but I can’t. That’s what happened Kit, open your eyes and see it. There’s nothing outside for any of us. Not since then anyway. I know you don’t even use Dad’s name at work so you can keep a job and that hurts me. You’re living a life of deceit trying to make it on your own without the family’s help Kitten.”

His use of the old pet name softened my resolve to kick them out and call the cops, now I wasn’t going to call the cops. That monologue of his seemed real enough, but in our family you can never be sure whether someone is acting or telling the truth. The tension in the living room was building up so thick you could have built up muscles just trying to walk through it.

“I’ll think about that later. Right now, why don’t you tell me why you’re here?” Before he could say anything Rollo burst out of a backroom (he knows how to open doors) and headed straight for Bruce, who had been standing in a back corner of the room, watching our discussion. Bruce, being incredibly afraid of dogs, did the one thing any red-blooded American man would have done at that point. He screamed like a little girl, jumped on top of a side table, and huddle all three-hundred pounds of his massive frame into the fetal position while Rollo sat and barked at him.
After finally getting over our laughter, I pulled Rollo back and Billy talked Bruce down from the table. Bruce absolutely refused to stay in my apartment after that (to my delight) despite all of my reassurances that Rollo was perfectly safe. He went out back to wait in Billy’s car and we got back to our conversation. “So why are you really here Billy?” I asked again, somewhat exasperated with the hold in my plans for the night. There was no way I was going to let Billy know about the box I had in my bag.
“Can’t I just come by to visit?” He asked innocently, giving me that little smirk that had had all of the girls in our school and at college chasing after him.
“Cut the crap Billy, I’m tired of your mind games. To answer your question though, you haven’t just dropped by to see me since before you graduated college and took over the family from cousin what’s-his-name.”

 

Sunday Goals

If you only take one thing from this post, I want you to take the fact that Katie at the BookTube channel “Books and Things” will be spending the next two weeks uploading a video a day discussing the novels of Charles Dickens. I am very much looking forward to her thoughts and insights and hope that you will all go check out a video or fourteen!

My goals for this week have been a little simplified, work on getting Little Monster and The Way We Were completely organized and set up. Type up what I’ve got on Paulonious Punk  and also type up the currently untitled flash fiction I’ve written for contest.

read a book or two.

Color some pictures. Exercise. Celebrate.

I hope everyone has an amazing week! See you soon 😀

 

Weekend Posts

The weekend got away from me without my posting of my weekly word counts, wrap up, goals, etc. So here are the quick videos I made for the BookTube channel and some numbers for you:

Writing –

I wrote approximately 2,500 words last week. While many people seem excited about that, I have been known to write 5-10 thousand words in a day and am not to pleased with myself. However, I know that sometimes you just don’t get as much done and if I write at all, I win. Mostly 😉

As for reading, I got through about 20 pages total (which is discussed a little more in the videos)

How did you do last week? Can you believe January is already over???

I hope you’re having a wonderful start to an even better February! Happy month everyone!

Saturday Stories for 1/16/16

Welcome back to 

Saturday Stories

This is a weekly post in which I update you on how I did with my goals and such over the past several days and link up to things you might have missed from me this week. I also give you a peek at something I’ve been working on! (If you just want to read my story excerpt, skip to the end!)

You can see last week’s post here. This week’s post should be short and sweet…I didn’t meet them.

Ok, let’s start from the beginning. On Sunday I posted my usual Sunday Goals and TBR video over on my YouTube (BookTube) channel. In that video I stated that my goals were basically to Read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, to finish edits my current contest WIP, organize The Way We Were and to write three more chapters on Paulonious Punk.

So did I get that done? Of course not!

Here’s what I did:

I DID finish Six of Crows – Review(s) to be up soon.

I DID NOT write on Paulonious Punk but I will soon.

I DID get Beta Readers for A Siren’s Tale – and am now adding more to the last part. I’ve written about 500 words or so.

I DID take some time and organize 3 sections of The Way We Were and I think I added about 200-300 words in there.

I also did the normal blog posts so we had Spotlight on Art, Author Interview Friday, Writer’s Quote Wednesday, and a Bonus post containing videos about Alan Rickman and Harry Potter in general. .  I also did a video for David Bowie, which can be found here.

So basically, I’ve written somewhere between 1-2 thousand words this week…approximately. I don’t know because I hand write most things before typing them up so I don’t everything put into the computer as of yet. What I DO have, is this excerpt for you!

This is the beginning of a currently UNNAMED slightly dystopian story I started a few months ago. Though I have left it sitting in favor of the above mentioned ‘other’ works, I plan on getting back to this soon. I hope you enjoy it but, please, let me know what you think!

The end of the world has come and gone, but we are all still here somehow.

No one will believe me when I tell them about the apocalypse; not even my family or my best friend. They all think I’m nuts. A weirdo who wasn’t born properly. The disease that destroyed my world has touched every person around me and no one even realizes it. I rarely leave my room now and I never speak of this anymore. There are only two places I feel safe from this dread existence: my newly reinforced bedroom fort and the place I was when the whole world went daft; the library.

When I think back to that night…I try not to think back to that night. The last one to leave the library after book club, I did as I usually do, I mean usually did, and stayed behind for an hour or more to research and write. I’m a writer. Apparently I’m the only writer left in the world. With all of the movies, television series, and music cancellations since the event everything has become reruns and news channels. The few stations that remain anyway, most of them have gone to blank screens. So much for the HD television flat screen revolution! Goodbye new music radio stations, so long actors and screen writers. This viral attack took it all from us. It wasn’t exactly the end of the world, but it might as well have been.

By: Elizabeth S. Tyree

Weekly Goals

Every Sunday I am going to be posting my writing and reading goals for the coming week. This is in an attempt to more often prod me into action so that I am accountable for my work, or lack there of! The following Saturday will be a weekly wrap up to see whether or not I reached my goals. Please feel free to heckle, taunt, and pester whenever you like!

This week’s goals are:

  1. Finish, or come as close as possible to finishing, the short story I’m working for contest.
  2. Organize the 1st half of my novel, The Way We Were and see if anything needs added before moving on to the second portion.
  3. Write at least 3 chapters for Paulonious Punk.

TBR:

  1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  2. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Here is my Video on the subject:

 

If you have any suggestions, questions, or goals to share please leave them for me! I can’t wait to hear from you.

Until Next Time…May your week be happy and blessed!

Saturday Stories

As part of my goals for 2016, I sat down and came up with a schedule for my blog and BookTube posts. Now, I may post more than I have set up and I may, just may, not post as much (sigh…I know it will happen. I try so hard…but I digress), but at the moment my set up will look something like this:

Sunday – video (and possibly written blog ) Weekly Goals, TBR, and anything relevant on the schedule. 

Monday – Video “random” life topics. Movies, TV, Music, Writing, etc. Non-reading related items. 

Tuesday – Blog Spotlight on —Artists, Illustrators, etc…similar to Author Interview Fridays but may not include interviews. 

Wednesay – Blog and Video – The Return of What are You Reading Wednesdays…book reviews, TBR updates, etc. 

Blog – Writer’s Quote Wednesday

Thursday – off day

Friday – Blog Author Interview Fridays

Saturday – Blog Saturday’s Stories – Weekly Updates and Writing Excerpts. 

So that is my update for this week…I am also aiming to include weekly word counts and things worked on.

The Siren’s Tale (a short story) – 581 words

The Way We Were… (novel)- 846 words

Paulonious Punk (children’s book) – 92 words

Blog Posts – 311 words

Total Since 1/1/16 – 1830 words

Not a bad way to start out the year, if I do say so myself! Leave me a comment with your own new goals, word counts, etc. I can’t wait to hear from you!

For now, I’m going to end this week’s Saturday Stories with an excerpt from the first draft of The Way We Were… that I wrote this morning. This is from the villain’s perspective:

 

“See, here’s the thing,” Collin’s steel edged voice mirrored his father’s cultured tones to perfection, his hard gaze making even veterans of The Foundation flinch away. “Everyone is flawed and self-conscious. Everyone worries. The more you care, the more easily you get stressed. Everyone,” he pushed on the word again, physically leaning into it as though testing the strength of the thing, “Everyone has a weakness to exploit. We use that and we can get in anywhere, with anyone.”

A scrawny, scruffy young man in the middle of the seated group raised his hand tentatively. Knowing enough to accept the following glower in his direction as instruction to speak, but not quite smart enough yet to keep his mouth shut anyway, the twenty-something softly starter, “What you’re talking about is…” he swallowed visibly, his adam’s apple bobbing with the strain, “Well, isn’t that a type of,” he was almost hyperventilating by this point but pushed on admirably, “emotional abuse? That can break people, sir, irrevocably.”

“Psych major,” Collin growled the half question across the stage in Peter’s direction.

Pete merely tipped his beer while inclining his head and lazily reminded his friend, “You thought one or two of them might be helpful.”

“I’m a flippin’ genius,” Collin sighed sarcastically, obviously dismissive and agitated by the truth of the matter.

“No one here to argue that point,” Pete taunted half-heartedly. “You,” he pointed the bottle in his hand at the still-standing psychologist, “It can break people if done hard enough, long enough. But most of what we do is more like a mental splinter. We needle and we agitate with small gestures and comments. We talk about how so-and-so has found such a great job or mention that 5 star restaurant we just visited, and threw left overs out from, to someone who is obviously struggling. We talk about the resort we visited last week to a friend who puts all of their travels on hold to merely survive and care for their family. No bragging involved, just softly worded side notes really, but those kind work their way in to brains and later on, instead of sleeping, he or she will be crying into the darkness. This works especially well with anxiety suffered and parents. Yes, it is mental and emotional abuse. It breaks them down, it blocks them from seeing the way to their dreams, and it keeps them right where we want them.”

 

Until Next Time….

 

 

Weekly Goals 8/24-8/29

Because yesterday was my daughter’s birthday, and the beginning of my week long experimental super sale for Dragon on My Neck (Kindle Countdown Deals…this book will be at 99cents all week long!) and the free give away for the other 5 books in my current available listing, I didn’t quite get around to setting up my to-do list for the week. Let me tell you, it isn’t any less full because Sunday has been marked off already!

I did finish most of last week’s goal list, so I won’t bore you with going back over it (If you really liked last week’s format, let me know and I’ll go back telling you what I did and didn’t get finished).

Weekly Goals:

  • Typical household chores (Monkey wrangling, sink emptying, clothes cleaning, etc)
  • Write at least one lesson plan a day (new freelance contract!!!)
  • Write at least a chapter of Punk
  • Write at least a chapter of Dragons in the Deep (that totally didn’t get finished last week. *sigh*)
  • Have a GREAT Giveaway!! (That’s mostly up to you guys…help a writer out?? 😀 )
  • Sew my skirt (It’s been half-done for a week)
  • Play my new Guitar Hero (Aerosmith) and Rock Band (Beatles) games! (Hey, everyone needs a brain break every now and then!)
  • Work on finally producing a Tyree Tomes and/or Dr. Tyree Book Trailer
  • Work on getting the final short story compilation and the adult picture book put together and hopefully posted.
  • Revamp Leonard (again!) because this whole kid’s picture book thing is HARD!

There’s my list. Yes, my entire life is basically writing, wrangling, writing, and washing…all the W’s.

What is your list? Are you spending all week working away on little projects, or is there a big project you’re dying to let us know about?? I can’t wait to hear, whatever it is!
Have a great week everyone!

Goals at a Glance 8/16-8/22

So last week I used my Sunday post to set goals for the week…just general writing and life goals really. Though it isn’t a to-do list exactly, it is a great starting off point for the week! Before I lay out my plan for this next week (and boy, is it going to be a doozy!), let’s see how last week played out for me:

Weekly Goals 8/9-8/15

  1. Write and upload the next 3 chapters of Vocabulary/Lesson Ideas/Quizzes for Dragon on My Neck Did not Happen! I have them mostly written..mostly. But are they typed? Nope…1 got one typed and uploaded…1. Next week I will have 5 to do now. *sigh*
  2. Write at least one new chapter for Dragons in the Deep – YES! I DID THIS! AND IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY BECAUSE THE CHAPTER HAS ME EXCITED ABOUT THE STORY AGAIN!
  3. Write at least one new chapter for Paulonious Punk – I cut it down to the wire on this one, but I did write a chapter tonight…well, all but the first 3 sentences, which belonged to the prior week. But I’m counting this as DONE!
  4. Wash, dry, and PUT AWAY laundry (its that last part…gets me every time) – I had it done until my potty training daughter and my cranky old dog had an argument over who REALLY owns that futon…and the blanket on it. 
  5. Work on creating Monkey’s pdf files for the book Nope. Not even a little bit. 
  6. Create new cover them for Stone Dragon books Yes, YES. Amazingly, YES! AND my illustrator has the ideas, loves the ideas, and will get to them sometime between the next 5 projects…so next year maybe 😉
  7. Sew Monkey’s birthday presents Yes and no. I’m not completely finished, but I got a lot done this week. 
  8. Clean Monkey’s Playroom (She’s almost 3, MAKE HER HELP!) YES! YAYA
  9. Finally watch the end of those 3 different seasons of shows on Netflix…it’s been a while Elizabeth, get ‘er done.Nope. I did finish Cupcake Wars…but not the other 3 shows I was watching 
  10. Sew bibs and various cute and super nerdy baby things. College friend baby #1 will be here in 2 months woman! Niece and or nephew in 7…get on it! No bibs yet, but everything else is a go! I have 1 bib and 1 diaper clutch purse to make before I send her little gifts off. Can’t wait to see those cute things on a chubby little nerd baby!
  11. Crochet hoodie for Monkey…Started it. That counts right?
  12. Edit… I despise this one. But yes. A little. Until I got depressed. I do know how to spell…I SWEAR I DO!
  13. Write at least 3 blog posts *not counting today’s* YES! I posted 5 times! woohoo!

Ok, now that that is taken care of, here is THIS WEEK’S LIST.

I warned it would be a doozy, but it will be shorter than last week’s. Yes, I will have laundry and dishes and cooking every day. But the main things I will focus on this week are going to be the focus of this list. Got it? Yeah, I knew you would :

Goals 8/16-8/22:

  1. Finish Monkey’s Birthday presents.
  2. Read, READ, READ!
  3. 5 teacher plans/quizzes/vocab sheets for DOMN written, typed, and uploaded
  4. at least 1 chapter for Paulonious Punk
  5. at least 1 chapter for Dragons in the Deep (IF YOU PUSH YOU CAN FINISH THE BOOK THIS WEEK WOMAN! TRY FOR MORE…GET IT DONE! I HAVE TO KNOW!!!)
  6. at least 3 blog posts
  7. Organize and clean bedroom and sitting room.
    1. then watch a movie in the big chair! Ahhhh….as close to heaven as I can get in my pajamas and popcorn phases.
    2. will probably watch the Labyrinth
  8. PUT MONKEY’S BOOK TOGETHER!!!
  9. cake/cupcakes…kid’s birthday is Sunday!

Short, more intense, and completely doable! My main 2 goals…Birthday for the kid, and write my little heart out. Something with happen with both sooner or later…the birthday is definitely sooner! Eventually something will give, though, and all my hard work will pay off…right? I believe it! God gave me a bit of talent to work with, so I’m pushing it as far as I can!

What are your goals this week? I would love to hear from you! I know some of you are going to make my paltry little teensy list look horribly light in comparison, but that’s great! It means you’re working hard to get yours. You go get ’em! And bring back coffee….