Sunday, November 28, 2010

'Tis the Season to Reread

Fa la la la la la la!

With Thanksgiving come and gone and the Black Friday craziness over (complete with sore legs and feet the next day), not to mention celebrating my first Christmas party of the season Friday night – yes, I’m aware that it’s still November – I’m ready to dive into the holiday season with gusto (now there’s a word I don’t use that often).

I spent Saturday cleaning so that we could take down the Fall decorations and begin decorating for Christmas. I even got my first holiday card in the mail yesterday. By far the earliest I’ve ever received one. They even beat my parents who usually send theirs out December 1st. I like to wait until the first Sunday of Advent to begin transforming my house from Fall to Christmas, and traditionally we start with the Nativity set. It’s my little way of reminding myself and my family about the humble beginnings of this holiday before we get caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle.

As I try to juggle a few extra balls during the season, keeping up with reading and writing can be difficult. I enjoy reading too much to stop, so I’ve decided to devote this time of year to rereading books that I’ve wanted to revisit. I’m doing this for a few reasons: 1) I already have the book in most cases, so I don’t have to make a trip to the bookstore or library. Most books that I’ve loved enough to reread, I’ve purchased to add to my collection. 2) Knowing the story prior to reading, I don’t have to guess what will happen and can enjoy other aspects of the novel (plotting, dialogue,characters). After a few hectic days, it’s easy to pick up the story where I left off.

In my last post I mentioned that I was rereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and I’ve finished it. The first time I read this novel I had purchased it at midnight, read a few chapters, went to bed, then inhaled it the next day until I finished that night. I read it one other time with a reading group then forgot about it for 2 years. Until last week. Can I tell you how much I loved it? I really savored it this time, knowing what was going to happen, and found some lovely treasures along the way.

Currently, I’m finishing up a reread of Speak (I didn’t get to finish it the week I met Laurie Halse Anderson) and loving it. After that I'm looking forward to rereading Gossamer by Lois Lowry and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Maybe I'll throw in A Christmas Carol by Dickens to get in the holiday spirit.

How do you keep up with reading time during the holidays? Or do you just take a break and resume reading after receiving new books as presents when the season is over?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blogging Around the Holidays

Sounds like it could be a holiday song, doesn't it?


Sorry for the one post a week lately, but I'm afraid that pattern may continue until the holidays are over. Between work, school, mom's taxi service (aka Me), shopping, holiday prep (of which there is a lot), and celebrating (I like that part *grin*) my spare time has dwindled down to a few precious hours a week. I'm not alone, I know, and I'm not complaining. I absolutely love this time of the year! Yes, there is anxiety and exhaustion, wondering if I'll get everything done, but I've learned to surrender and delegate so I can enjoy this time of year. Celebrating with family and friends -- Church services, the school Christmas performance, family gatherings, meeting up with friends, receiving greeting cards -- reminds me of how thankful I am that they are in my life and what they mean to me. Creating wonderful memories is what it's all about.

And so I'm trying to squeeze some writing and reading time in there because I love them both. My focus is on preparing for and celebrating the season right now, but I need some "me" moments so I won't get burned out. They relax me and help me to escape The List. You know the one, right? No matter how many things you cross off it still seems to grow longer? Some days I'm successful and some days I'm not.

I'm continuing to work my way through my reread of Deathly Hallows, I hope to see the movie tomorrow (last weekend was impossible), then this weekend I'll work on my WIP which I"ve missed doing. I hope to blog sooner but if I don't, see you next week!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Potter Fever!

I've got it again - Potter Fever. It's contagious and has been infecting my whole family.

1. Symptoms - Connecting real life situations with Harry Potter continuously. For example: Friday when my 11 year old and I were riding in a sluggish elevator I pointed to the door and cast an Alohomora! spell. It opened! (tee hee)
Another symptom - the inability to resist watching the movies or picking up a HP book when it's in the room, and being drawn to anything HP related in stores (the 2011 calendars, the ads for Deathly Hallows Wii game, etc.)

2. Remedies - I've found in the past that it's just easier to give in to the illness instead of trying to fight it. Immersing myself into the Potterworld again is the best remedy. Part of that for me has been chatting with like-minded friends, "Are you getting excited? I can't wait! What show are you going to? IMAX or AMC?" and so on. Also, I can always count on the ABC Family channel to provide HP movie marathons before movie releases. I've seen bits of my favorite of the movies, Prisoner of Azkaban, and also Goblet of Fire (last night) and can hear the music for Order of the Phoenix in the other room now. Another remedy for me has been rereading Deathly Hallows which I started this weekend. It's been almost 2 years since my last reread so I need to get cracking!

3. Cure - As long as there is something new regarding the Harry Potter world, be it a movie, book, theme park, Rowling interview, there can be no cure for me. I'll always be excited by anything new involving Harry Potter. Usually, my obsession is in remission, unless drawn out by someone else who shares my passion for Rowling's world. Then there's no holding back.

I've had some great conversations with a couple of my friends recently who share my obsession. We're all looking forward to Deathly Hallows. I won't be able to see it on the release date but--

Sorry about that! My kids just shouted, "Mom! There's a DH scene on NOW!" *squee* The scene where Scrimgeour gives the trio what Dumbledore left them in his will! Oh, right. There. Did you notice that? Another symptom is squeeing without warning over anything related to---Oh, I can hear it! The beginning of Order! If you'll excuse me for a moment...

Okay, I'm back. See, my husband loves that part and he was on the phone. I had to run to the kitchen and silently mouth, "Order of the Phoenix! The Dementors attacking Dudley and Harry!" so he could watch that scene. Yeah, the fever is rather high right now.

Excuse me again, but one of the kids just asked me when I think Deathly Hallows Part 1 will be released on DVD. (I know, right? The movie isn't even in the theater yet) I'm not so great with Arimanthcy, er, Arithmatic so I may have to ponder this a bit.

Squee!! Another scene! Kreacher telling the trio about the locket in Grimmauld Place! The very chapter I'm on right now!
(I think I need to lie down. I've got it bad)

Monday, November 8, 2010


This is the post that I tried to avoid. The post that admits that I cannot finish the NaNoWriMo this year. I won't bore you with the details. Life is just too time consuming right now.

Now, I'm not giving up completely; just readjusting the rules for myself. I know I won't even come close to 50k this month. That's a given. I love my new novel idea, but I'm starting to pine for the novel I've worked hard on so far. I really, really, really want to finish it this year.

One of my goals for 2010 was to finish this first draft. I've got 51 days before the new year. So, I've decided to put the NaNo novel (it's still unnamed) on hold for now and continue working on Nitpicky. I'll still try to write like crazy each day, like NaNoWriMo, but instead I'll continue with Nitpicky. Who knows? Maybe I'll add another 30k to it this month!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update

It's been 4 days and I've written 790 words.

Now I could have written, I've only written 790 words, but you know what? That's 790 words that I didn't have written last Sunday and so I'm holding my head high.

Yeah, so I'm not flying. Truth be told, the NaNoWriMo isn't about reaching the magical 50K mark at the end of the month for me. Personally, I can't do it and I know that. What the NaNo does for me is it gets me excited about writing again. The anticipation in October, the planning of something fresh and new, the thought that thousands of others are pushing themselves to achieve a writing goal at the same time...that's what makes it fun for me.

I write when I can and make myself write during those snippets of time during the day when I usually say to myself "I don't have time" to start now; the half hour before work when the house is empty, the half hour when I get home, 15 minutes after supper, a paragraph before bed. All of these times add up and move my goal forward.

I'll push myself a lot this weekend, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to catch up. I can't write nonsense for the sake of reaching a certain word count. Not that I hold that against anyone, of course. Everyone has their own method, what works for them. Turning off my annoying inner critic and putting butt in chair is how I benefit from the NaNoWriMo.

Whatever your personal goal is, good luck, whether you're a NaNoWriMo-er or not. As for me it's back to work. I took a nap today so I could stay up later tonight. I'm hoping to reach 1,000+ before bed. Wish me luck!