A Game of Thrones Reader’s Diary: Weeks 4 and 5

A Game of Thrones

Reader’s Diary

Week 4: Pages 305 – 409

Week 5: 410 – 500 (or 515)

 

I’m going to take this moment to be completely honest with you. I got so into the story, I forgot all about keeping a reader’s diary. I could go back and fake it for you and probably come out with something more entertaining than the previous couple of weeks have been. But in the interest of keeping this blog a real, open, and honest place to talk about books and life…I’m just going to leave you with a few key words and phrases to describe the experience of these past 200 pages:

*AHEM*

 

Murder, INTRIGUE, Folly, Temper Tantrums, Ridiculous Children (Can I slap them…please, PLEASE, CAN I SLAP THEM JUST ONE GOOD TIME EACH? SOMEONE SLAP THAT KID!).

Stop with the stupid.

Seriously…kill that woman. Just…kill her dead. Do it..you should have killed her. Told ya.

DO NOT TRUST HIM – Told ya (they really should listen to me!)

Oh. MY. Gravy Boats. How stupid are you? They put you in charge of people…on purpose? Do they want everyone dead? Well probably.

Oh yeah, that’s a great plan. Start a war and grab the wrong one. Dumbtard.

RUN AWAY. Umm…too late.

MAYHEM.

Thank you for your time. I hope this has entertained and intrigued. There is, really, so much more I could say. But I’ll save the ranting and raving for later, when I’ve finished this book. Or rather, when it finishes with me.

Have you read A Game of Thrones? Are you reading it along with me? Let me know your thoughts down below! Happy Reading

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 😀

 

 

3 Reasons to read MG as an Adult

There is a debate happening across BookTube and book blogs right now, one that happens every few years, about reading YA (young adult) fiction as *gasp* adults. I won’t get into it because I am, in fact, an ‘adult’ and I do, indeed, continue to enjoy YA books. It happens. What I do want to discuss today is something I think deserves just as much discussion: Children’s and Middle Grade books. Specifically, the benefits of reading children’s and middle grade fiction long after you’ve passed the top end of that particular age bracket. Don’t worry, I’ve narrowed this down to a top 3 list!

1)      If you are a parent, teacher, caregiver, aunt, uncle, cousin, or person who lives near children (a.k.a. pretty much anyone on the planet) reading children’s and middle grade literature allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of the younger generations. You can not only monitor what they’re being exposed to through their reading, you can also find common ground to strike up conversations. Start a book club with them and discuss the important things, both in the books and in their lives.

Similarly, if you’ve been reading children’s and middle grade books in a wide variety you will be more readily equipped to suggest the book that might change a child’s life. For example, you hate reading but love skateboarding and now you’re grounded until you choose a book and write a review for class? Try out Tony Hawk’s autobiography.  You might just help with an assignment, but this might be the way they get into reading…or pass the fifth grade.

2)      Books meant for a younger audience deal with hard hitting issues such as death, race, orientation, and even terrorism in a more direct and seemingly sensitive manner which can help ease you into dealing with these issues in a much swifter and easier fashion than many adult books, which either swerve around the problem or tackle it with bloody force. Articles on dealing with grief might help eventually, but a good cry while reading through L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables might help you get up and try a lot faster than a ‘professional’ giving step by step instructions.

3)      Finally, sometimes you just want to relax, de-stress, and read something that allows you to revisit the home and innocence of your youth. You miss the times of braces, first crushes, and bff’s for-like-ever. These can all be revisited smoothly and swiftly with an old favorite (I like to curl up with one of Ann M. Martin’s Babysitter’s Club Books or some Winnie the Pooh myself) or even through a new modern ‘classic’ like Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series. Maybe the feel of a Nancy Drew book can transport you back to the summer of awkward growth spurts and braids, or the flow of Harry Potter remind you of acne and beginning football.  Whatever it is, read to remember the wonder and awe of your childhood. Let the stresses of your ‘adulting’ melt away. Believe again.

It’s ok, no one will judge you for enjoying a good book.  If they try to, just ignore them and retreat to a well-made couch fort. No one has time for that sort of negativity!

Game of Thrones Reader’s Diary Pt. 2

A Game of Thrones

Reader’s Diary

Week 2: Pages 109-202

Eddard

Poor, frozen Ned Stark. Crossed between what he said he’d do, who he wants to be, and who his king/best friend/brother wants him to be. I do not envy his position. I think the king has become soft and spoiled while he allowed his best friend to harden on his own at Winterfell, where Ned wishes he’d stayed. King Robert is crazed with hatred for Targaryens and doesn’t listen to the truths spoken by his Hand. Frustrating, to say the least.

Tyrion

The Fool has ridden north to the Wall, intending to inspect it and get a feel for the world (or lack of one, as they say) beyond. He is riding with Benjen Stark, Jon Snow, and a few others. Jon and Tyrion’s relationship here takes a step that I didn’t expect, but do enjoy and appreciate. Tyrion’s smart mouth and well-read brain come in handy. Not to mention the tid bits about dragons that made me swoon! What smart details to add! Well played, Mr. Martin. Well Played.

Catelyn 

The last time we saw Catelyn, I was hoping for someone to smack some sense into her or, better yet, put her out of my misery. Well *boom* wish granted. Not how I was expecting, of course, but in a way that makes perfect sense. Still, she’s a sharp tongued wench. She left at the end of the chapter with barely a thought toward her sons. After spending all that time draped over Bran’s bedside, I can understand the statement that she’d done all she could there. But, come on, Brickon is 3ish…he doesn’t understand why Mommy wouldn’t see him and why Mommy left. And Rob is 14 and the head of the keep now…his Mom could probably have been a big help to him. But no, no one could be trusted, it had to be her. Pfft.

Sansa

This girl…this poor simpering fool of a girl…makes me want to smack her. I suppose she’s just too much like her mother. In love with the idea of being betrothed to the simpering princeling, in love with the nice pretty things and the ideas that have half formed in her mind. She meets the knights and has, shall we say, strong feelings of both respect and fear. Ok, good…then Joffrey, the spoiled idiot, parades his “Hound” in front of her to scare her and offers to take her off on a day exploring “just the two of them”…I was actually pleased when they stumbled upon Arya and Mycah. I was afraid Sansa was going to get herself injured or raped or all of the above because she couldn’t see past her mental images to get a bead on the real prince. Then he got bit and I thought…well that’s not going to end well. Stupid

Eddard

This chapter was short, but HARD. To see Cersei Lannister and the probably inbred **** prince sit there, accusing, lying, and manipulating in order to make Joffrey out to be the victim and the hero all at once…to me it makes him look weak and his mother look a fool. But to Eddard…to Eddard it looked like his daughters opening a schism between them that might possibly never be fixed. It looked like having to kill the sweetest and best trained of the wolf pups on a whim and a whine while his best friend washed his hands of the situation and refused to ‘man up’ and handle the situation. It looked like Sansa losing her beloved pet because of Joffrey, but blaming Arya. It looked like a bad day.

Bran 

This is probably one of my favorite chapters in anything I’ve read this year, if not this decade. Bran’s dream was fabulous, a little spine tingling, and a lot mysterious. The best part, for me, though was when Bran finally awoke and found his wolf pup. Those first words after his coma…wonderfully done.

Catelyn

She arrives at King’s Landing and sends Ser Rodrik to the castle to find Ser Aron Santagar in an attempt to discover who might have owned the dagger sent to murder Bran in his coma. The dagger that sliced Catelyn’s fingers and sent her on this mad journey. In the in between time, Cat goes to rest but gets herself lady napped and taken to Littlefinger, Lord Baeris who had been her father’s ward and like a brother during their growing up time…until he dueled her betrothed for her hand. Guess who’s dagger it is? What a tidy little bow.

Jon

Jon is now in training at the Wall, learning to be the man he swore himself to be. He is also much hated for his attitude. The loner illegitimate son of Lord Stark, Jon finds issues on both sides and none of his training mates are keen on him. Tyrion Lannister’s advice, ‘don’t let them see that the words cut or you’ll never be free…’ good advice that I’m sure Jon will take, but The Bear then calls him away…a bird has come to tell him some good news.

Eddard

Ned is running ragged, already disillusioned and exhausted by life in the palace and life as the King’s Hand. Along with the issues between his children and his own extreme dislike of the counsel and learning just how out of it as a king his bestie really is, Ned finds his wife in a brothel. Ok, ok…so they were both taken there in order to speak in a place where no one would suspect either of them of ever being. Still, it is kind of funny. The love and respect between them is obvious, but I still don’t particularly like Catelyn. Eddard, on the other hand, is growing on me.

Reading Diary: Game of Thrones

Last week I began a read-a-long of the popular (or at least, famous) book A Game of Thrones. (have you heard of it? I hear its pretty ok I started a Goodreads group and have places to chat about the book…wanna join in the read-a-long? Come on by Buddy Reads with Beth!).

When I started reading, I also started a reading vlog. When I started the vlog, I started a diary type page to keep up when I didn’t want to film. Warning…there are mild spoilers (though I tried to keep that to a minimum). I hope you enjoy my reading Diary for pages 1-109 of A Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones Diary:

 

I am about to begin reading George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. This is the first book in The Song of Ice and Fire series and I have heard so many things about this series…I’m almost afraid to begin. But I set up a Goodreads group and hyped up a read-a-long for this, we’re reading 100 pages (or so) a week starting this Friday, July 29th, and I had better set a good example since I’ve never hosted anything previously.

 

July 29th – Starting off

 

Today is the day! I’m about to pick up A Game of Thrones…my friends have warned me against becoming attached to any character, human or not, that shows up at any point in the story. “Don’t even think about becoming attached to a location Elizabeth,” one told me. “Just stay aloof!”

Another, who has lived with me during re-reads of Harry Potter, repeatedly pushed the point that some of the deaths will be as hard, or possibly harder, than those in H.P. and that I MUST remain separate as there is no one to let me lay on their shoulder and watch NCIS at 3 am to get the taste of tears off of my tongue. I’m a bit frightened of this book again.

Prologue:

WHAT?? What the…what is an ‘Other’? Is this some sort of Fey creature?

Man…They weren’t kidding! 3 characters were introduced at the beginning of the prologue…2 were dead by the end of that chapter.

Bran:

The first chapter follows 7-year-old Bran on his first outing with his father and brothers on the way to his father, Lord Eddard Stark, having to take care of a disciplinary issue at one of their holdfasts. Dire wolf pups are found, 1 for each of Bran’s siblings. I wants one.

Catelynn, Daenerys, Eddard, Jon, Arya, etc.

Each chapter switches between the main characters, showing us things that are happening from different perspectives. We get different truths, different visions, different placements. While this sounds like something that would be difficult to follow, the writing is surprisingly easy to slide through. I am amazed at how much harshness and beauty can live side by side in this book. All 3 of the first characters were dead by page 23. The Histories, religions, beliefs, animosities, senses of humor, and personalities of each character are interesting, well done, and enticing. I want more when I should be wanting to set it down and do work. This could be a problem.

 

I dislike the Lannisters.

Bran:

I can’t believe this! What in the world?? What is with these illicit affairs, first of all? And, that aside, HOW COULD YOU/HE DOE THIS? SERIOUSLY? THE KID IS 7 YOU TWIT!

 

Dany:

The characters are all so much younger than I had it in my mind that they were. Harsh times kill off the old and the infirm I suppose. Daenerys Targaryen is 13 as she is wedded of to the 30(ish) year old Khal of the Dothraki. She is a fierce and fiery young lady, I forget her age during the chapter until I am reminded again at her inexperience and youth. However, I can see the makings of a queen. I look forward to more from her and her Dothraki king.

10 Reasons I didn’t Recommend: Shadow Hunter Edition

I am currently posting a series of videos on my BookTube channel (Elizabeth Tyree (Soul Stained Ink) in which I recommend books across age levels. As I was making lists and starting to film, I realized that there was one series that gets a LOT of hype but that I just really didn’t want to recommend people read. When I started really thinking on the whyfors of that decision, I found a few reasons behind it so…let’s count them down (shall we, yes we shall).

 

Top 10 Reasons why:

I didn’t recommend The Shadow Hunter books for fantasy and/or YA readers.

 

10) The world is not something incredibly new or exciting. Yes, Cassandra Clare did some interesting things with it. However, the idea of Nephilim, protectors, supernatural wars, and the mist that keeps mere mortals from understanding it all is a well-worn path. While that is not a turn off (and I actually like the books well enough) there isn’t enough of a different spin here to make it worth my effort to suggest.

 

9) The characters often flip their own personalities. They seem, in a few places, to be people who don’t know their own temperaments. Things that should be handled one way by a character, are most decidedly not. That is confusing, especially for new or slow readers.

 

8) Rampant Bullying. Think about this…There is a constant feel of bullying coming from the Nephilim, the vampires, the Fey. They all bully each other and seem to really LOVE bullying Clary and Simon as they come into the new knowledge of the Shadow Hunter world.

 

7) Unhealthy Relationships. Clary and Jase. Clary and Simon. Clary and the Lightfoots. Jase and the Lightfoots. Clary and her parental units. The List could go on and on. The relationships in this series are not typically good and/or healthy. They’re abusive, in multiple ways, and they’re often treated as inconsequential (except for the homo-sexual…who is bullied by himself. That was the only true feeling relationship I spotted).

 

6) Speaking of unhealthy relationships….EVERYTHING having to do with Jase and Clary’s forbidden love trope. Neither of them handles it well and, quite frankly, it’s a bit pathetic.

 

5) The evil being depicted is a fallen Nephilim. Yet another trope being trampled to death here. While he has a few decent lines, the use of him and his little minion boy falls quite flat for me.

 

4) The parental units or lack thereof. Seriously, the way they treat their parents and guardians and get treated in return is just ridiculous. To be fair, 75% or more of the books don’t even include parental type units.

 

3) The way magic handlers are, well, handled. Let’s see…Magnus Bane is flamboyant and insane and affects this personality but basically just makes it seem ok to do whatever want, to whoever you want, for whatever reason you can come up with. Consequences are a very real thing, no matter who you are or want to be!

 

2) Confusion, difficulty, and dismay…The books, especially the first two, are very difficult to get in to for many people. The storyline is convoluted and difficult to follow in places and it has discouraged many a reader. Though, to be fair, some people have found the struggle to help them move into the joy of reading. The writing style is hard to handle, drags, and often doesn’t provide the promised size of pay off.

 

1)     OVERHYPED this series is severely overhyped. It is everywhere you look. New series are being spawned left and right, following The Shadow Hunters all over the world and through the ages. People talk about this series A LOT. I don’t know that it deserves the amount of hype it gets. However, the fact remains that most people will have heard about Cassandra Clare and her Shadow Hunters. I wanted to recommend something people probably wouldn’t have already heard all about.

Interview | MG Author Chris Grabenstein

In the past few months I’ve discovered an author that’s been around awhile, but that I’ve only just discovered. Since then, I’ve read multiple books by this middle grade author and can honestly say that he is my new favorite author.

Chris Grabenstein is a funny, interesting, and intelligent author from Buffalo, New York. He co-writes the I FUNNY, HOUSE OF ROBOTS, TREASURE HUNTERS, and JACKY HA-HA books with James Patterson, as well as writing many of his own, fabulous, works. My current favorite is a three way tie between Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, and Dr. Libris Library. You can find Mr. Grabenstein at Goodreads and at chrisgrabenstein.com.

I caught up with Chris this past week and he very kindly answered a few questions for me to pass along to you. So, without further ado, here is Author Chris Grabensteins Interview.

1) I stalked your Goodreads page and saw that Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library was inspired by a library in New York and that a 5th grader made the comment that got the ball rolling for Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, which are both amazing, but who did you base the characters on? And are YOU MR. Lemoncello?
The characters come from various sources.  Kyle Keeley, who is the third son in his family, is based on my memories of being the third son in my family.  The only time I could ever beat my big brothers was when we played board games.  Sierra Russell is based on every bookworm I’ve met on my numerous school visits (and seems to be a character that resonates with a lot of young readers and older ones, too!)  Miguel Fernandez is based on (and named after) a fifth grader I tutored at my church’s Homework Help program.   And, yes, Mr. Lemoncello is sort of based on me and also the late Jim Henson, whom I worked for back in the 1980s.   The wackiness comes from me.  The unbridled creativity coupled with a bajillion dollars comes from Mr. Henson.
I, like many of us, adore the late Jim Henson. This makes me love Lemoncello even more (which I didn’t know was possible)
2) Welcome to Wonderland, Home Sweet Motel is coming out October of 2016 and (on your website) features Roadside Americana. Was it a piece of that roadside Americana that prompted and inspired this story? If so, what piece started the journey?
WONDERLAND is based on my memories of visiting my grandmother every summer in St. Petersburg, Florida.  We’d pack up the car and hit the road, stopping at places like South Of The Border and Weeki Wachee Springs (mermaid shows!).   While staying at an extended stay motel in Michigan, helping my wife take care of her father, I remembered how much I used to LOVE staying in a motel when I was a kid.  Swimming pools!  Snack vending machines!  Toilets sanitized for my protection.   So, I wondered, what if I was a kid who LIVED in a motel!
I feel a road trip coming on!
3) You’ve written books across the age levels, is there any difference in your writing process when those age levels and genres change?
When writing for ages 8-12, I have to watch my language.  No, not that way (even though I do).  I have to be more aware of the vocabulary I am using and, if I use a word that may not be in a fifth graders lexicon, put it into a context where the meaning can be understood.  I also write for short attention spans because I have one, too, and get bored easily in the long descriptive paragraphs that most readers tend to skip anyway.
4) What IS your writing process? (I, personally, tend to be a pantser. Do you outline, meticulously write note cards, or just let the words flow?)
When I was writing one, maybe two, books a year I was definitely a pantser.   Now, as I attempt to write or coauthor 5-6 books every twelve months, I craft a very tight outline with all the major beats, twists, turns, etc. planted.  I find that my working on the outline for a week or two, I save a month or two one the back end with rewrites.
Maybe I should start working on finding the right kind of outline again…I gave up that search awhile ago but…saves a month or two on rewrites!
5) Do you have any superstitions or traditions that help you get more writing done and, if so, do those change depending on the story, age level, or genre?
No real superstitions.  Just a very boring, self-disciplined work ethic.
6) I’ve seen you give the advice to ‘write, write, write…’ and ‘give yourself permission to write a bad first draft.’ Do you have any other advice you’d like to give to aspiring (or already there) authors?
Follow Elmore Leonard’s TEN RULES FOR GOOD WRITING
Especially the last bit of advice:  “My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
7) Do you read Indie and/or self-published authors? What advice would you give them?
I must admit that I don’t have much experience with self-published books.  I have self-published a few e-titles of my own and have great respect for those who can make it work for them.  I don’t have the marketing/promotional energy to do it correctly.
He’s not kidding! I am a totally indie author at the moment and I never have that energy!
8) What books are on your reading pile right now?
Edward Eager’s KNIGHT’S CASTLE, HAMILTON, and UNDERGROUND AIRLINES.
Look, even Chris Grabenstein is reading Hamilton, I need to jump on that bandwagon.
9) Finally, in Dr. Libris the protagonist(s) find an island on a lake where story characters come to life. What character(s) would you most like to have come to life to spend a day with you? (yours and/or someone else’s)
Mr. Lemoncello. So he can tell me what happens next.
a) that means we’ll possibly be getting a 4th Lemoncello book (the 3rd is coming soon!)
b) he’d be on the top of my list too, along with Gandalf. I want to see Gandalf, Dumbledore, and Lemoncello hanging out.

A Light Bit of Housekeeping

Hello! As the title might make you suspect, I have a few things to go over with you today. The first and foremost thing for us to discuss is that the blog will be changing. I’ve spent the past couple of days setting up an “Author’s Blog” here on WordPress and any strictly writing posts, including glimpses at and excerpts from my writing, will be posted there. I will share the odd post on Here There Be Dragons but if you don’t want to miss out on those posts, it might be better to subscribe to Soul Stained Ink (estyreesoulstainedink.wordpress.com). This blog will continue to be used for book reviews and posts about everyday life.

Speaking of reading! I’ve been given a personal challenge, both by some friends and by my own pride, to read George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. As I have a Mass Market Paperback edition, this book is slightly over 800 pages. So I thought, WHY NOT MAKE IT A READ_A_LONG/BUDDY READ? SO…If you would like to read-a-long with me or just follow my journey, please feel free to join my new Buddy Reads with Beth Goodreads Group! If you don’t have a Goodreads or prefer not to join the group, that’s fine! I’ll be attempting to remember to post weekly Game Reads updates on this blog and I’ll have updates and chats on my BookTube channel if you’d rather go watch my face talk about my thoughts on the book.

You can also keep up to date on Twitter (twitter.com/writerbaby13), where I’m sure I will be lamenting my choice to do this!

I am also getting ready to do a series of book recommendation videos, which I will link on Here There Be Dragons AND I will recommend a few books in the same genre/age level to just you guys, something special for you 😉

Finally, I am contemplating starting a newsletter that would include writing and life updates, perhaps images, and snippets from current works in progress. If that is something you might be interested in receiving via e-mail please leave me a comment letting me know! If several of you might enjoy that, I will get it set up and linked for subscriptions soon.

I hope that you all have a wonderful and blessed week. Don’t forget to check out Soul Stained Ink, the blog and/or the BookTube channel, and get your copy of A Game of Thrones ready!

 

 

 

Saturday Stories 7/9/16

This past week was a doozy in the world of words I like to surround myself with and snuggle down in to.

First of all, I joined a Buddy Read/Group Read of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern which began for most of us on Monday, June 27th and is continuing on as people read and discuss at their own rates (One of the readers set up a thread on an existing Goodreads group) and so we are all still delving into the book even if we’ve finished as more of our compatriots comment on the different sections. I, myself, completed this book around Wednesday and absolutely adored it (rating around 4.5 stars, but I bumped it up to a full 5 or Goodreads). I own the beautiful floppy paperback version and also borrowed the audio book from Overdrive. It was fabulous, though the physical copy makes it a bit easier to follow the fluid and jumping time frames.

In the middle of reading The Night Circus, a read-a-thon started up…one that I have been anticipating and refining my TBR list for over the past 2 months. The #SmoresandMayhem Middle Grade Read-a-thon ran from July 1st – July 8th and had only one ‘rule’: each book must focus on a story that takes place during/in/around summertime.

For #SmoresandMayhem I managed to read 5 1/2 books (and DNF 1 more).

I re-read The Babysitter’s Club Super Special 1: Babysitters on Board (By Ann M. Martin) and High Wizardry (By Diane Duane). I haven’t read either of these books in so long that it was almost as though I read them for the first time. I remember loving the BSC book and feeling a bit MEH about the wizarding book and..my feelings haven’t really changed, except that I’m more outspoken about them now.

Along with those two I also completed Deep and Dark and Dangerous (By Mary Downing Hahn), The Wish in the Bottle (By Morna McLeod), and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (By Chris Grabenstein) (this was read on audio book and it was AMAZING. Listen to it!). I quit on The Girl who Circumnavigate Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (By Catherynne M. Valente) within the first two chapters. I have handed it over to my mother in order to determine if this is a book that I really do need to try to read again later, when I’m not still on a high from reading a couple of 5 star books prior to picking it up. I’m having the same issue with my 1/2 read book, The Westing Game (By Ellen Raskin)

The cool thing though, is that all the only physical library book I checked out for all of this was High Wizardry…meaning that I knocked out 6 books from my little TBR bookshelves. I’m down to about 45 now!

With all of that reading going on, I did kind of neglect my #HotandSticky Summer Writing Challenge work. I’m still a bit ahead of the game, but not by much with three days of 0 word count so far this month. Today’s (Friday, July 8th) ending target total word count 19,032 and my total current word count is 22,169. I definitely need to get my booty in gear again!

Unfortunately, I’ve lost over half of the original Sylvester outlines and have changed the story so much I’m now stalled in it trying to remember what I wanted so I know what to change (I hate it when I get all switch happy and forget what happens!). So I switched to writing the new children’s chapter book, a sequel to the recently finished Paulonious Punk (which hasn’t even been properly edited yet!) but the past couple of days has just felt like trying to pull cold taffy so all the myriad of picture book ideas, the children’s book, the 5th in the dragon series, the 2 NA/A fantasy stories, and the 2 rewrites are all just being left to their own devices. Normally one will speak to me and the rest get put aside for a bit but right now, right now I’m woefully falling behind. I better get over this soon, though, because I get CRANKY when I don’t write. It’s worse than PMS…it’s SWS (stalled writing syndrome)..and Midol does NOT help! (Coffee, Coke, Dark Chocolate, Chips and Salsa, 90s alternative music, and Netflix binges…these help. Please send some and save my poor family).

All that being said, here is a clip from the children’s chapter book. I’ve only just begun but I really enjoyed this scene, I hope you do too!

That afternoon Pauly called an emergency meeting of the adventuring club. With Fredrick and Mark Finkle still out of town at their lake house for the summer, Pauly, John, and Grandpa were the only official members available, but a quick vote allowed Sarah to tag to along too. If she got too annoying they could stick Grandma with her and ask them to bake cookies or something.

“This is gonna be SO GREAT,” Pauly exclaimed before remembering his role and sheepishly banging his small gavel on the president’s podium (a miniature dinosaur with flat top hair do and a mouth that would open and burp bubbles when you tickled its left ear). “I officially call this meeting to order! Is there any new business to attend to?”

“Yes,” Grandpa Punk solemnly raised his hand and waited to be called on. “Thank you, President Pauly,” he cleared his throat. “THIS IS GOING TO BE SO AWESOME!!!!!!!”

This caused the entire group to dissolve into a laughing it that was so loud and long it disturbed Grandmother Punk, who was in the process of baking and became afraid that her desserts would fall apart if the laughter continued.

When they had sobered up and managed to settle down a little, Pauly posed a serious question.

Fetching the club’s brand new “adventure notebook” (a pleather bound journal with the picture of a mountain on the cover) from its place of honor on top of the cluttered old desk in the corner, he began, “I think that we should each write down what’s going on and our thoughts and stuff about it from now until the end of the trip. That way we have a…a….a.”

“A reckoning of events for posterity,” Grandpa suggested with a smile.

“Exactly, a whatever it is that Granpa just said,” Pauly straightened his spine and schooled his facial expression into one of solemn thoughtfulness, “All in favor?”

Two ‘ayes’ and a ‘yupyup’ rang out among the many inventions and tools of the fort/shop.

“It has been decided,” Pauly intoned seriously, “So it shall be done.“   He passed the notebook and feathered pen to his second in command. “Johnny, will you start us out please?”