Shari Creates

Unleash Your Story Progress

Posted on: September 13, 2009

I keep reminding myself that writing on the blog, and especially writing the book reviews, does count as writing.  Really.  Even if my original goal was to write mostly on the manuscript in progress. I am delighted with my story thus far (it’s not perfect, but I’m still quite pleased) but I am worried because I have no freaking idea what happens next.  Deep breath.  But I will continue on, and hopefully have several more great writing nights this month. I will not forget that in about four hours, I wrote over four thousand words, and it was not because I had a great idea and couldn’t wait to write.  It was simply because I remembered this story will never be finished if I do not work on it.  Inspiration does follow perspiration.  Really.  I am a great writer, and I can do this! (It’s hard to say that, but if you don’t say it, you will never believe it.  Lani talks about it some on her blog, which you should definitely check out!)

Unleash Your Story Write-a-thon word count so far: 5614 / 60000

The Write-a-thon.  This is the challenge I knew I could win.  I was tempted to set a goal for reading more pages than anyone else on the ULS website, but decided not to.  Sure, I read fast.  I like re-reading books, too.  However, I did not want to set a goal that did not include writing.  As for the mini-reviews, I decided to combine my need to write with my desire to do a short review of each book I own into my book database(s).  I still am having trouble deciding what the best format for tracking my books is.  Libra was free, handled books, has a lot of nice elements, but is no longer being supported / developed, and has a few bugs that slow me down.  Also, I only have access from the computer it resides on, and I have a desktop, a laptop, and a pocket pc phone, and I would like to be able to access from all three, as well as any other computer I may have internet access from.  Gurulib uploaded my books from my exported excel spreadsheet, estimates the value of my collection, and has lots of bells and whistles. While I can access my collection from any computer with an internet connection, it will not load on the pocket pc phone.  The community is largely a reference book crowd, and finding how to information has been a bit challenging.  I’m flirting with LibraryThing and Shelfari, but am not committed to either one.  LibraryThing is free until 200 books, then a $25 lifetime membership.  That is reasonable, but I need to make sure I love it if I’m going to pay for it.  Shelfari… the upload sucked.  Hard.  Once I finally got the collection into a file format that would allow an upload, I had to go through and confirm each individual book.  Some of which failed to recognize any possibilities, and since only the title is listed, I was not able to easily identify which particular book I needed to pull off the shelf and hand type information from.  I have approximately 1400 books, and there are more titles overlapped than I would have believed.  I am tracking my interactions with each database in a spreadsheet, and will hopefully be able to choose one soon.  Although I strongly suspect I will end up using both Gurulib and LibraryThing.

Also, I’ve been starting some books, reading 50 to 75 pages, and deciding that they were not what I was craving after all.  So there will be some discrepancy between the actual number of pages I read and the number of pages in the books I post reviews of.

Books I’ve Read:

I Still Miss My Man but My Aim is Getting Better by Sarah Shankman

This is one of my all-time favorite books.  I am very sad that Sarah Shankman does not seem to be publishing anything any more.

Mixing country music, writing, broken hearts, bad decisions, the angel of Patsy Cline, and Sarah Shankman’s distinct sense of humor about the South, this book is a delight.  Shelby Kay Tate has left her small town life and divorced her cheating husband to pursue her lifelong dream of writing country music songs in Nashville, Tennessee.  But ex-husband Leroy Mabry just won’t give up.  He follows Shelby to Nashville and tries to ruin her new life – and then, Leroy falls in with a vicious con artist looking to cause as much havoc as possible as quickly as he can.  Fortunately, Shelby has police officer Jeff Wayne Capshew watching her back – even if he has no idea why.  On days when my life seems completely ridiculous, this book is a delightful comfort.

Tripwire by Lee Child

This is the third book in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child, even if I mislabeled it on my shelf as the first.  Oops!  (I use scrap booking stickers to label books in a series in order, since they are archival and removable.  Good thing, too.)

A New York private investigator tracks down ex-MP Jack Reacher in Florida, but before Reacher can decide whether to cooperate, the PI is killed. Reacher is a drifter, working menial jobs and moving on whenever he gets restless.  He decides to track down the PI’s client, and see what might have gotten him killed.  Jack’s former commanding officer Leon Garber has just died, while waiting for the PI to find Reacher.  Garber hoped to enlist Reacher’s help with a MIA case from the Vietnam War.  Garber’s daughter, Jodie (who has been in love with Reacher since she was fifteen) is also in danger, and they team up to solve the mystery Leon Garber started to investigate.

Die Trying by Lee Child

This is the second book in the Jack Reacher series. Which I did read second this time…

A woman on crutches stumbles out of a dry cleaner’s store, and Reacher stops to help her – and gets kidnapped with her moments later.  Transported to a Montana militia base camp, FBI Agent Holly Johnson and Reacher soon find themselves in a world of crazy anti-world government extremists, in a political Catch-22 bringing the Armed Forces, FBI, and President’s Office official decrees into conflict with each person’s personal desires.

Dead and Loving It by MaryJanice Davidson

This is a collection of four short stories involving cross references to characters in MaryJanice’s other books, but each enjoyable alone.

Santa Claws – Werewolf Alec Kilcurt has come to visit the American Pack Leader, and encounters the love of his life – ringing a charity bell and wearing a Santa outfit.  How can Alec convince Giselle Smith that they are meant to be together, and keep her from freaking out over his secret?

Monster Love – Richard Will has been a vampire for a long time, and he’s lonely.  But how can he find someone who will love the monster he is?  Janet Lupo is an abrasive and unpopular werewolf, confined by Pack rules and unhappy with her life. Could it be they are meant for each other? (Note: there are elements of this story which may not appeal to some people – kidnapping and forced seduction.  In the end, it works okay for me, but is not for everyone.)

There’s No Such Thing as a Werewolf – Doctor Drake Dragon was hidden from the Pack by his mother due to his blindness.  Now, he’s a doctor in the human world, and one night he rescues Crescent Muhn, a woman who seems determined to learn how to fly by flinging herself off of tall structures.  If he’s a werewolf, what is she?

A Fiend in Need – Antonia is a werewolf – but she cannot change forms.  She does, however, see the future – and she sees that she needs to leave her Pack and go help Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor – if only she know what she needed to do for Queen Betsy.  George is one of the fiends whom Betsy had been trying to rehabilitate – he’s a man of few words and fewer memories.  Antonia takes one look at George and knows his name is Garrett Shea, and there is just something about him she cannot turn away from.

My Favorite Witch by Lisa Plumley

Sometimes, I like to cruise the bookstore and buy a book by someone I’ve never heard of.  After reading several pages at the store, I brought this one home.

Dayna Sterling is a failure as a witch, so she’s left her home to make her way in the human world.  Unfortunately, she’s starting to “cusp”, and suddenly her pathetic and unpredictable powers become volatile.  T.J. McAllister is a “compound” – half warlock and half Patayan.  His job is to collect cusping witches, to bring them to the academy where they can be taught how to use their powers.  But few things in the magical world are as they seem, and Dayna and T.J. get tangled up in a deadly plot, a corrupt arrangement – and each other.

I liked this book, the world is well imagined and the characters are entertaining.  Dayna and T.J. both have many issues and quirks, and I enjoyed reading their story.

Unleash Your Story Read-a -thon page count so far: 4631 / 10000


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