Easing Back Into the Routine

I’m alive, everyone!

First off, my sincerest apologies for leaving you all so unexpectedly and for so long. I was really swamped with finals and couldn’t bring myself to simply make off with a LazyPost every week. It didn’t feel right to put so little effort into the ol’ blog.

But school’s over and I’m back now and that means hopefully getting back into the swing of things. This post is just going to be a little update on what I’ve got planned over the summer. Next week I’ll hopefully have a short story for y’all, so I suppose that’ll be the start of me seriously blogging again.

I’m once again working on the Project, which is what I’ll refer to my book attempt as because I seriously lack even a decent working title. What I had when I last spoke of it proved to be yet another false start, though this time I’m keeping a lot more of the plot points from the previous draft than I have with my other attempts. I’m hoping that means I’m getting closer to the real story, the one I’ve been trying to uncover this entire time, the one that needs telling.

What’s different from my previous drafts is that this time I’m actually writing an outline first. I decided that the reason I keep writing and writing and ultimately coming to a dead end is because most of the time I only have a vague idea of what I’m doing and where the story is going. There’s a lot of moving parts to my tale and an outline will help me keep them all straight.

Second order of business: the Eclectic Reader Challenge. Clearly the goal of a book each month has gone out the window, so I’ll be trying to finish as many books as possible over the summer. That means a bunch of reviews, which I generally don’t particularly enjoy writing, but I probably could use the practice. Right now I’m almost through The Catcher in the Rye, so I’ll be reviewing that shortly. Then, most likely, I’ll do Pride and Prejudice, and then get through the rest of the books in the sidebar there that I started and never finished.

Blog news: I’ve been given an award by the brilliant Kirsten, which I promise I’ll do a post on soon. I haven’t forgotten! That’ll come sometime in the next couple of weeks. Now that I’m blogging again, I’ll also be joining up with the Teens Can Write, Too! chain once more (kinda bummed that I missed out on this month, though, I love talking about covers).

I should probably tell you quickly about my high school’s summer reading books this year. The book that the entire school is reading is The Fault in Our Stars, thanks in part to my recommendation, and I’m super excited about it. Having been a nerdfighter for about eight months or so now, I absolutely love TFiOS and can’t wait for the student body to love it as well.

I have two other books to read as well, since I’m taking AP English next year: Dracula and a nonfiction called The Shallows, which is about how the Internet is affecting our minds and such. I’ve already read the former, which is a bit of a disappointment seeing as how now the only new book is a nonfiction, but I’m willing to give The Shallows a go. More on the summer reading will probably come in the future.

That’s how things stand for me in the literary world. I look forward to joining the WordPress community once more.

Happy reading.

I Suppose This Post Isn’t Really About One Specific Thing.

Well, readers, it’s the weekend once more.  To be honest, I don’t really have much to talk about.  If you don’t want to read many hundred words of my babbling about books I’m going to read at some point in the future and books I’m reading now, you should probably just stop here.  I won’t be offended; I promise.

My reading is still slow going until I get onto something new, and I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I want to, so there’s nothing coming down that creative channel.  However, I made a promise both to myself and to you lovely people that I would be writing a post twice a week to the best of my ability to do so, and since I’ve been doing almost nothing all afternoon but streaming Parks & Recreation* on my computer, it is most definitely within my ability to write one today.

First off, I suppose I should hash out a game plan for the next year, seeing as how this is our last shot at actually planning out an entire year until the apocalypse (I’m kidding, everyone).  You remember the Eclectic Reading Challenge, don’t you?  Well, I’ve worked out with my oh-so-clever brain that the number of genres I have to read (twelve) corresponds to the number of months in the year (which is also twelve, wouldn’t you know it).  So, my plan is to read and review one book per month.  January’s book will be The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, as per a commenter’s request (just the first one, though; I’m not really in the mood to read a five-book trilogy all at once).

On a related note, did you know the books were based off of a radio series made by the author?  According to Wikipedia, at any rate.  And everyone knows Wikipedia is the best source for factual information.

Moving on.  You can always check out all of the books I’ll be reading for the Challenge up at the page called “The Challenge.”  If you have a book to recommend for me to read next (meaning in February), please, let me know.  Help me make sense of this gigantic stack of books in my room (which will be growing again this week because The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is coming in the mail)(wow, are there a lot of parentheticals in this post).  If you’ve even read this far.  In which case, bonus points to you, good sir or madam!

So, the author's site calls it a "technothriller"...which I suppose is an adequate term.

Last order of business: Omnitopia Dawn, the book I’m hoping to finish quite soon.  I like it a lot, and I think it’s because it’s basically a computer book.  You know the type, with lots of hacker jargon and coding talk.  It’s actually a near-future tale about a World of Warcraft-type online game, in case you need the background.

My main point, though, is that for some reason I love books with lots of technical computer stuff in it.  I’m not sure why, because none of what they’re talking about makes much sense to me.  At the same time, though, I don’t need to understand to understand.  I get the gist of it.  Does that make sense to anyone here?  Another example of this type of book is Evil Genius (which is such a good book, everyone should read it) and, I’m told, Brain Jack, which I bought about a week or so ago but probably won’t get around to for a while. My main point is, do any of you like this subgenre (can I call it that?), readers?  If so, do you feel like you need to understand it, or does it not matter to you?

Well, I think this is a good enough post about nothing at all.  I really do apologize for the lack of actual quality here; apparently the creative side of my brain is taking a sabbatical.  It’s probably from all the Parks & Rec.

Happy reading.

*Speaking of the show, does anyone here watch it?  And if you do, isn’t it AMAZING?!

(Eclectic Reader) Challenge Accepted

Readers, today’s post comes to you in three parts.

Part One: The Challenge

Becky from over at Blogs-of-a-Bookaholic posted a while ago about the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012, and as that year draws ever nearer it’s time I officially announced my undertaking of it.  Go here to see the page where the Challenge originated.  Essentially, those who take on this challenge must be willing to go outside their literary comfort zones and read at least one book from each of the following genres:

  1. Literary Fiction
  2. Crime/Mystery Fiction
  3. Romantic Fiction
  4. Historical Fiction
  5. Young Adult
  6. Fantasy
  7. Science Fiction
  8. Non Fiction
  9. Horror
  10. Thriller /Suspense
  11. Classic
  12. Your favorite genre

…and all by December 31, 2012, or December 21 if I want to be eligible for a prize at the end of it.  It sounds quite interesting, and I can’t wait to see what books I read because of this.  The only thing I’m a bit worried about is writing a decent review for each book.  You may have noticed that I don’t write reviews here normally.  That’s because I’m really awful at it.  Oh well!  Time to learn!

I’ll be following Becky’s example and creating a tab at the top of the Novel Journeys page to track my progress throughout the year, so stay tuned for that!

Part Two: The Award

I’d like to thank Kirsten over at Kirsten Writes! for giving me the Don’t Read This Blog at Work Award.  Here are the rules of this particular award:

  1. You may nominate no more than three bloggers, each of whom must have made you laugh out loud with at least one post.
  2. Those who receive the nominations may consider themselves as having received the award, and they must post a gushing acceptance speech thanking the person who nominated them, and perhaps thanking any companion animals they may blog about.
  3. Those who receive the award may, but need not, pass on the award, but will not themselves be eligible again until they have published at least ten more posts.

So, here goes said gushing acceptance speech:

“I’d like to thank Kirsten for giving me this prestigious award.  I’m bursting with happiness and gratitude that you think I’m funny enough to deserve this.  I’m not often humor-oriented here, but when I do post something that’s supposed to be funny it’s nice to know that other people like it and are laughing and not just me.  Anyway, Kirsten, thank you.  So much.  I’m glad you enjoy the ol’ blog.  I just…” *holding back tears* “I’m just so happy!  Thank you!  Thank you!”  *bows and scurries to sit down*

There!  That’s enough gushing for one day, yes?

Exactly.  Now, the rules say that I’m not required to pass on this award, and so I’m not going to.  Don’t think this is because there aren’t any wonderful and humorous blogs out there, because there are.

That Liebster award was only a short while ago, at any rate.  If you want to look at some blogs that I like and that deserve attention, please refer to that post.

Part Three: The Song

Time for a Hunger Games update!  Yesterday I discovered this amazing song, which is the first song we have from the official movie soundtrack, was released only Thursday, and which, within 24 hours, TOPPED THE SINGLES CHART ON ITUNES, and is still at the top as far as I know.  Without further ado:

I would love to get your reactions, readers.  What do you think of the song (not to mention the fact that Taylor Swift is on the soundtrack)?  Most importantly, where can you imagine this being fit in during the film?  For me, it definitely goes with Rue’s death, or rather, shortly thereafter.  Some, though, seem to think it’s for the cave scenes with Katniss and Peeta, and I’ll admit that’s a possibility (but I don’t believe it myself).

And that’s all I have for you today, readers.  In light of what tomorrow is, I’ll be posting next on Monday instead.

Merry Christmas and happy reading.