Have You Hugged A Book Today?- June 2017

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Whoops! I kind of… forgot about reading this month. I’ve been catching up on podcasts (Writing Excuses, The Creative Penn, and the Sell More Books Show to name a few) instead of doing audio books, and that’s really cut into my reading. Hopefully I’ll get caught up and be able to jump back into reading next month, but for now let me show you what I have been reading.

Here’s the link to my star rating breakdown if anyone needs a refresher. It’s also up in the header.

  • Books I’m Currently Reading:
    1. The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1) by Brandon Sanderson- Still working on this one. It’s dense!
    2. The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 1: The Parker Luck by Dan Slott- I’m finally starting this storyline! I’ve had the first three of this books forever, but I haven’t had time to start them. Well now I’m making time! 😀 This is the beginning of the Spiderverse story, from which we get SPIDERGWEN! I’m really excited about that 🙂 Also, I really want to find and read all of Superior Spider-Man someday.
  • Books I’ve Finished:
    1. Throne of Jade (Temeraire #2), by Naomi Novak- Four Stars
    2. Gwenpool, the Unbelievable, Vol. 1: Believe It, by Christopher Hastings- Five Stars

Fog’s Book of the Month
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, so what saved this book for me was the pictures. I know a lot of people who read this on audio and I’d like to hear thoughts about that, because honestly, I don’t think I would have enjoyed this book nearly as much without the pictures to reference. But then again, the method of writing the book was most of the reason I wanted to read it in the first place, so that might have a lot to do with it ;P The plot was interesting, but I got a couple of the characters confused and something about the writing style didn’t sit well with me. It felt like it was trying too hard to be a YA book. Which it was, and I understand that, but it didn’t have to try so hard. I have no idea if that makes any sense.

Also, (and I think this is a pretty major spoiler so I’m putting it behind a spoiler tag, PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK) (view spoiler)

Anyway, I really did enjoy the book for what it was, the creatures were creepy as all get out and I loved the different Peculiars. I’ll definitely be reading the sequel 🙂

View all my reviews

And that’s it, y’all! See you guys next month! 😀

Once More Unto The (Writing) Breach- May 2017

What I’ve Accomplished This Month

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This was yet another pretty single-minded month. And guess what? I still didn’t finish anything!

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Let’s break down my failure. Because that sounds like fun! 😀

  • Good Intentions (Age of Ultron fanfic)- 32,547 words written

This is probably the most words I’ve managed to write after a NaNo… pretty much ever. AND I’M STILL NOT FREAKING DONE. How is that possible? I did not plan for this fic to be soooooooo looooooonnnnngggg. Seriously, all of my other Avengers fics are short!

…you know, -ish.

Relatively speaking.

Anyway, the current plan is for the total word count to be 95k, which means I’m almost done! Finally! Really this time, I swear to Odin…

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Oh… right. I swear to Loki then. Which is way more fun anyway ;P

Well, I managed to post my chapters, and I regret that now. Because I’m feeling a little lost here. I can’t explain it, but the thread of my story is just… gone. I know how I want to end it, I just don’t know how to get there. And I don’t want to give up, because I know that if I can just push through this story is going to be AMAZING! I have a plan, but it might not be a plan that fans of this story will be incredibly happy with, considering how much of a let-down I have been when it comes to posting on this fic. But we’ll talk about that more in the What’s Coming Up section. For now, let’s just say that I’m incredibly happy with the chapters I posted this month and I’m impressed that I managed to write any words at all, to be honest.

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  • Doubt The Stars- Beta-edit

The results are in! And have been in for weeks now. I really was going to work on this more, I swear, but… well… I didn’t.

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I know, Ron. I know.

I managed to get through the first Scene, but that’s honestly only because everyone pretty much agreed that it needed almost no work (other than some grammar and punctuation fixes). The second Scene is going to be… a little more complex, and I’ll be honest, I’ve been putting it off. Because I’m scared. It’s getting scarier and scarier the closer to being done I am and… I’ve never done anything like this. I don’t feel prepared. But I’m going to do my best to jump in with both feet this month and really dig in.

So without further ado!

What’s Coming Up in June

  • Doubt The Stars- Evaluate feedback from beta-readers and edit accordingly. Send samples to editors and pick one.

This is… exactly the same goal I had for last month that didn’t happen. There’s going to be a lot of that in June. I’m playing the most terrible game of catch-up ever and just trying to win before Camp NaNoWriMo in July! On that note…

  • Good Intentions- Finish first draft

Really this time. Really, really. I’m in the final stretch, I should honestly be done with this in the next week or so if I play my cards right. Then I can set it aside and relax for a little while, because I’ve already decided to postpone the edits until the months of August/September. And yes, I’m allowing myself two entire months for edits, because despite mounting evidence to the contrary, I am not completely crazy.

I’m keeping my original goals for now, but this is purely in the spirit of optimism. I have one chapter that I can post on the 15th, but I’m not certain another chapter will be ready by the end of the month. I have already decided that I will be writing my 50k words for Camp NaNoWriMo in July on this fic and its sequel (which will follow hard on the heels of the first: it will become apparent why when the ending of DBTT is revealed ;P), so I’m thinking I might just take a rest on writing for this fic this month and let my creative well refill. It’s not like I don’t have other stories I could outline…

So there you go! We’ll see what happens! And now, the real reason you all read this blog:

Fog’s Cute Animal of the Month

This month’s animal is thanks to a very weird and completely random dream I had:

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The porcupine puffer fish!

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Look at that face! I’ve been reading up on them, and for a fish that could kill me in multiple ways (in addition to the ability to inflate and the spines, their internal organs contain a deadly toxin 1200 times more potent that cyanide. Neat!) they are also the most adorable and personable fish I have ever beheld! In this article, they are described as “almost as cute as cartoon animals” and they can apparently even be taught to do tricks for treats! Like puppies! Adorable fish-puppies of the sea!

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Imaginary boyfriend says I can’t have one, but he’s just a Debbie Downer. I NEED AN ADORABLE FISH-PUPPY! I mean, I had a dream about them! My sub-conscious even says I need a fish-puppy!

Plus, they’ve been compared to one of my favorite Avengers, so… win-win! 😀

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Case closed! All I need now is a 100 gallon fish tank and some snails…

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See you guys next time!

A Hobbit’s Walking Tale- May 2017

A Hobbit’s Walking Tale by fogisbeautiful

  • Miles Walked This Month (April 23rd-May 31st):  67.2 miles
  • Total Miles Walked:  981.8 miles
  • Milestones Reached: Desolation of Smaug, Hidden Door, Death of Smaug, Battle of the Five Armies, Lonely Mountain funeral

“They buried Thorin deep beneath the Mountain, and Bard laid the Arkenstone upon his breast.

“‘There let it lie till the Mountain falls!’ he said. ‘May it bring good fortune to all his folk that dwell here after!’ Upon his tomb the Elvenking then laid Orcrist, the elvish sword that had been taken from Thorin in captivity. It is said in songs that it gleamed ever in the dark if foes approached, and the fortress of the dwarves could not be taken by surprise.”

~The Hobbit, Chapter 18: The Return Journey

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So… I got a lot further in my walking than I expected to this month! I’m actually on my way home already (What? I just got here!), and the journey back to the Shire is actually a little shorter (you know, because of not getting lOST IN THE FREAKING FOREST! *ahem*) so I should actually be home in… a little over a year? Yeah, that’s a while. We’ll see what happens 🙂

My 30 Day yoga experience is… still ongoing ;P I ended up missing a few days, so I’m playing the catch up game now, but I just finished Day 28 and I can say with confidence that I LOVE yoga! It has been so helpful and made me feel better about myself both physically and mentally. I highly recommend the YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene. She’s so positive and motivating and fun. And she really big into “Find What Feels Good” which has been so helpful in building confidence in this new form of physical activity.

See you guys back in Laketown! 😀

Have You Hugged A Book Today?- May 2017

So, I’ve kind of failed at updating my Goodreads this past month. Sorry about that! I’ll try to do better going forward 🙂

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Here’s the link to my star rating breakdown if anyone needs a refresher. It’s also up in the header.

  • Books I’m Currently Reading:
    1. Throne of Jade (Temeraire, #2) by Naomi Novik- I’m actually almost done with this and it is just as good as the first one! I really love this series, highly recommend it!
    2. The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1) by Brandon Sanderson- Still plugging away at this one, slowly but surely. I have not abandoned it, but it might take a while for me to get through.
    3. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut- I abandoned this book last month. Because life’s too short to read books that aren’t interesting to you. I’m sure there is a powerful message in here somewhere, but I’m just not in the right state of mind to find it.
  • Books I’ve Finished:
    1. Gotta Read It!- Five Simple Steps to a Fiction Pitch That Sells by Libbie Hawker- Four Stars

Fog’s Book of the Month

The Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have no actual words for this book. But I can say it is worth your time. Just read it. Trust me.

View all my reviews

Sorry this is so short, guys! Hopefully next month I’ll have more to report 🙂

Once More Unto The (Writing) Breach- April 2017

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What I’ve Accomplished This Month

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So… yeah. I was kind of single-minded this month ;P I wrote 50,022 words, and not much else. Which I’m completely fine with. Those of you who are waiting (im)patiently for a new chapter of Double the Baggins, Twice the Took are probably not as okay with it as I am, but I’m going to try to make it up to you this month! Starting tomorrow! Really!

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What’s Coming Up in May

  • Doubt The Stars- Evaluate feedback from beta-readers and edit accordingly. Send samples to editors and pick one.

The first comments are starting to come in from my beta-readers and I’m really pleased! So far the feedback has been mostly positive, and the criticisms (when viewed through the eyes of trusted peers) are nothing that I feel I can’t handle. It’s such a relief, because honestly? I’m channeling my inner Rapunzel right now.

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  • Good Intentions- Finish first draft

Despite the 50k, I’m still not done. Not even close. Honestly, I’m hoping this will only be 80k, but I’ve set my WordKeeperAlpha goal at 100k, just in case… because there is still a whole lot of story left to write… But it’s so good! Seriously, I’m enjoying the hell out of writing this! It’s going to be such a fun thing to post too, I can’t wait to see everyone’s reactions! 😀

Honestly, I’m putting that writing goal there, but I’m not really sure it’s going to happen. I’m going to do everything in my power to make the chapter postings happen (starting tomorrow, I SWEAR TO MAHAL…), but as far as writing goes, finishing “Good Intentions” is taking priority this month. It has to. Or, honestly? My whole plan for the year is going to fall to pieces. So there you go!

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And now, the real reason you all read this blog:

Fog’s Cute Animal of the Month

This month’s surprisingly cute animal:

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The poor, nearly extinct axolotl. Well, extinct in the wild. In ten years (from ’98 to ’08) they went from 6,000 per sq km to 100. Now, you can hardly find any. But they are thriving in captivity, so at least we have that 🙂

Look at it! Look at it’s happy little face! How can you not love that face???

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“Oh, stop it you!” *axolotl blush*

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I do not know how to get my hands on one of these sculptures, but if someone finds out, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING LET ME KNOW!!!

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Also, because puns:

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*runs away cackling*

 

A Hobbit’s Walking Tale- April 2017

A Hobbit’s Walking Tale by fogisbeautiful

  • Miles Walked This Month (April 1st-23rd):  45.8 miles
  • Total Miles Walked:  914.6 miles
  • Milestones Reached: Raft-Elves, Lake-Town

“If you come in peace lay down your arms!” said the captain.

“We have none,” said Thorin, and it was true enough: their knives had been taken from them by the wood-elves, and the great sword Orcrist too. Bilbo had his short sword, hidden as usual, but he said nothing about that. “We have no need of weapons, who return at last to our own as spoken of old. Nor could we fight against so many. Take us to your master!”

“He is at feast,” said the captain.

“Then all the more reason for taking us to him,” burst in Fili, who was getting impatient at this solemnities.

~The Hobbit, Chapter 10: A Warm Welcome

Oh Fili, the great diplomat…

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So, guess what I started doing? Yoga! 😀 Yep, I’m teaching myself how to bend into a pretzel 😀

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Okay, not a really, but it’s actually way more fun than I thought it would be 🙂 I’m planning to start this 30 Days of Yoga on the YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene. I love her. She’s very chill, doesn’t take herself too seriously, and is big into the “anyone can do yoga” mentality 🙂

If you guys wanna do it with me, here’s the playlist!

I have no idea how this is gonna go, but I’m starting on May 1st, come hell or high water! 😀 See you guys next time!

Have You Hugged A Book Today?- April 2017

 

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Look at this, I’m actually on time with this blog post! Who knew? I certainly didn’t ;P Let’s get started before something terrible happens…

Here’s the link to my star rating breakdown if anyone needs a refresher. It’s also up in the header.

  • Books I’m Currently Reading:
    1. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne- I kind of forgot this was a thing I should be reading… whoops. I guess I’ll try again this month 🙂
    2. The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1) by Brandon Sanderson- This is one that at least one person I know is going to be excited I’m reading (hi, Elissa!). I happened to get it for free from Tor, and it’s pretty good. A little more involved than I was expecting (I now understand the jokes about Brandon’s writing style on the Writing Excuses podcast ;P), but I’m actually pretty intrigued by all the storylines that have been introduced so far. I’m confused as to how they all tie together, but I’m sure that will become apparent the farther along I get. I have faith in you, Sanderson, don’t let me down! ;P
    3. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut- This is… weird. I’m enjoying it, but it’s not a book I can (or want) to read in long chunks. I have a feeling it might take me a while to get through, even though it’s short. Stay tuned!
  • Books I’ve Finished:
    1. His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire, #1) by Naomi Novik- Five Stars
    2. Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4) by Jim Butcher- Four Stars
    3. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis- Five Stars

Fog’s Book of the Month
Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So good, so beautiful, so sad, so happy. Ugh. I can’t even. I don’t even have the words. Worth every bit of five stars 🙂

ETA: Okay, I think I have a few words now. The most beautiful part of this book was how incredibly real it felt, while at the same time feeling like one of those great myths that are told through the generations. It was romantic and funny and painful, all at the same time, and it felt like something that could happen to anyone. I was terribly afraid that it was going to turn Romeo and Juliet on me, but it didn’t. It never got stupid, despite the high school protagonists, it felt young and fresh and immediate, without feeling shallow or unimportant (whether it lasted or it didn’t). It was a beautifully written book, a very immersive experience, Ms. Rowell wins again 🙂

Highly recommend for everyone, especially children of the eighties and nineties for the references (which were super fun to catch, like Easter eggs in book form!).

View all my reviews

Ha! Look at me, winning at blogging today!

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I’m gonna go now, before this all goes horribly wrong 😀