Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is brought to us by the lovely girls over at The Broke and the Bookish, and as always, click on the picture to be transported to their blog.  Oh boy oh boy oh boy this is gonna be a HARD one!  I have sooo many books I need to read, and that I wish I was reading right now, and that I wish I’d remember to finish so I can start a new book (I’m looking at you, Secret Life of Bees).  My TBR list on Goodreads has over 250 books on it currently, and honestly, I think this will have to be split up into two different lists, as well, as I keep my hard copy and kindle reads separate (meaning I read them concurrently, not switch between the two mediums).  Also, you can check out my Fall TBR list, of which I’ve managed to read 6 of the 10 books I listed.  Not too shabby, really.

Kindle Spring TBR

1.  Delirium/Requiem by Lauren Oliver–I keep hearing AWESOME things about these books, AND it’s going to be a TV show, so it’s become a top MUST READ so that I can compare the two.
2.  A friend’s manuscript–I’m not going to share any details, but I promised my friend I would read and critique, and while I have for some of it, I haven’t done it for all of it, and I’d like to start back at the beginning, and I feel like a really bad friend because I’ve had this forever…
3.  The Grimm Diaries prequel novels 1-6 by Cameron Jace–this is on the list because it was my Amazon Prime “free” book for the month, and it has to be read and returned by April so I can rent another book…but they sound pretty darn awesome and involve fairy tale retellings, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy them.
4.  Ready Player One by Ernest Cline–I don’t know much about this book (though it was featured in Entertainment Weekly), but I just LOVE the title.  Awesome reason to read a book, right?
5.  Life of Pi by Yann Martel–I really want to see the movie, but since I made a resolution to read the book BEFORE seeing the movie…I have to read this!
6.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky–see above
7.  Iced by Karen Marie Moaning–I just finished the last of the Fever series today (though this is listed as Fever #6/Dani O’Malley #1), which I LOVED, but I’m really hoping that this book isn’t written like the useless “Dani” chapters in the last two books of that series…they were annoying at best.
8.  Deep Fried and Pickled by Paisley Ray–this was a Kindle freebie (surprised, right?), but the description sounded neat and the title is just…awesomely funny.  Plus, the main character is from my home state!
9.  Insurgent by Veronica Roth–I read Divergent several months ago, and I can’t believe that I haven’t read Insurgent yet!
10.  Redwoodian by Alysia Gray Painter–I’m currently reading the first book (Mayfair), which I got for free from Forever Young Adult, and as I got it free, I feel I should read and review it.  I just hope that Redwoodian isn’t as smart and cutesy as Mayfair, because that book is dangerously close to going to my DNF list…

Hardcopy Spring TBR

1.  The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien–this was on my fall list, one of the four I didn’t get around to reading.  The movie is probably close to coming out on DVD, so I’d really like to get it read so I can actually, you know, WATCH the movie.  I want to see what extra stuff they had to add!
2.  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern–I got this from Amazon like…eight months ago, and it’s still unread.  BAD ME.
3.  The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak–I picked this up at the Reading Festival in February, and I’m really excited to read it.  Plus, I think I’m supposed to pass it on once I finish it, which makes it a priority.
4.  Black Magic Sanctum/Pale Demon/A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison–this was also on my fall TBR list, and I actually started Sanctum, but I think I just wasn’t in the mood for paranormal at the time and put it down in favor of something else.
5.  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Steig Larsson–I read the first book over Christmas, and it was fantastic, though overly long in the way I’ve noticed that only Swedish authors can be (Looking at you, John Ajvide Lindqvist).  Plus, my Amazon Prime has all three of the Swedish version movies available, and I’d like to be able to watch them back to back.
6.  Leviathan by Scott Westerfield–I’ve been dabbling in steampunk (thanks to friends of mine that are way into it), and I’m finding I really like it for the most part.  Must read more!!
7.  Peggy Sue got Murdered by Tess Gerritsen–by the author of the Rissoli and Isles books, which I’ve loved since my mom introduced me to them.  This isn’t part of that series, and might be one of her earlier books (it was published in 1994).
8.  The Poison Eaters and other stories by Holly Black–a collection of short stories that my husband got me for Christmas, and I think it was the only one he got me that was not in the middle of a series…
9.  Envy by Anna Godberson–WHY HAVE I NOT READ THIS BOOK YET?  Oh, because I’ve been reading too much on my Kindle…oops.
10.  A Wanted Man by Lee Child–though I bought this for my husband for Christmas, if I wait for him to read it, I may be waiting a year for that to happen…

In Between Monday

I felt like writing today, but not on anything that takes some brainpower…and by brainpower I mean remembering what I’ve written before to make sure I don’t have huge loopholes, plot holes, or continuity issues.  So I took to the Internet, and I said “Internet, find me something to write!”  Of course, the Internet did not reply, and I had to resort to using Google instead.  Google is a bit more responsive, especially when you type something into the search box.  I found some neat sites and bookmarked them, and I also found a tumblr called Writing Prompts that Don’t Suck that has over 500 prompts already listed, so I might spend the next few weeks (or months, there are over 500 of them) making my way through them and writing the ones that speak to me.

Writing Prompt #1:  Person, Place and Thing

Write a story using these three things:  a paper clip, a hospital, and an exotic dancer

The scene opens in the busy waiting room of a local emergency room.  In the room are five people–a mother and daughter, a man in his 40s, an elderly couple, and an exotically dressed young woman.  The daughter coughs constantly, the man in his 40s holds a blood soaked cloth around his left hand, the elderly couple seem to be waiting on someone who is already back in the depths of the emergency room, and the young woman stands impatiently at the check in desk, arguing with the triage nurse.

 Nurse Janet (calmly, in a tone that suggests that she’s already said this particular sentence a million times that day):  I’m sorry miss, you’ll still have to keep waiting.  We take patients in order of seriousness.  If you could have a seat, the doctor will call you when he’s ready for you.  (Nurse Janet stands up and looks around the exotically dressed woman)  Paul?  Paul Stansford?  The doctor will see you now.

(The man with the bloody cloth stands up and walks out of the room, passing a doctor in green scrubs.  The doctor walks over to the elderly couple and sits down next to them, talking quietly)

Candi (talking loudly):  Hey!  I got here before that guy!  That’s not fair!

Nurse Janet (slightly exasperated):  Miss, if you could take your seat…

Candi:  Fine! (she flounces off and sits down too closely to the elderly couple and the doctor talking to them.  She looks around at the room, rolling her eyes and grunting)

(a few moments pass, and a nurse in white scrubs pokes her head out of a door next to the check in desk and looks down at a clipboard, then back out at the room)

Nurse Samantha:  Candi?  Candi Strype?  The doctor will see you now, if you’ll follow me, please.

(Candi grunts and flings herself out of her chair and follows the nurse.  The scene switches to a curtained off room.  Candi has changed out of her clothing and is lounging somewhat seductively on the room’s bed in a standard issue hospital cot.  The doctor enters the room, peering at the same clipboard that Nurse Samantha used.  He looks up and takes a seat next to Candi’s bedside)

Doctor Tangler:  Ms…Strype?  I have a few questions for you before we start on the examination.  First of all, are you on any medications?

Candi:  As I told the woman at the desk, and the nurse who came in with me, no I’m not on any medications.

(Dr Tangler makes a note on the chart)

Dr Tangler:  Okay, how many caffeinated beverages do you consume per day on average?

Candi (rolling her eyes):  two cups of coffee in the morning, and either iced tea or a soda with meals, so, I guess…like I told the others…four.  (Candi pauses and twirls a lock of her long hair around her finger)  Tell me, doctor, what does any of this have to do with the fact that I came in here for a paperclip up my vagina?

 Writing Prompt #2:  Do What I Say!

Write about a door-to-door salesman who sells souls to demons in Hell

It’d been a rough day for Sam.  He trudged to his car after a long day knocking on doors and heaved his case into the trunk.  The car bounced slightly under the weight, and he slumped around to the driver’s side.  He groaned–he’d parked too close to the lava flow again, and his door was melded shut again, scorch marks marring the paint.  He kicked a tire and went to the passenger side, where he climbed over a week’s worth of lunchtime fast food wrappers, slid over the center console, then slumped behind the wheel.  His shoulders sagged, and he listlessly tried to put the key into the ignition, failing several times before jamming the key home.

It sounded like a great opportunity, lots of money, good hours.  The pros seemed to way outweigh the cons.  The inventory was provided, commission was 75% of the sale, and the clientele…captive.  Sure, he had to drive the Highway to Hell a few days a week, and park next to a river of molten lava, then deal with Chiron to cross said river, but in his first week alone he made almost $6,000 in commissions.  Demons in Hell had paid well for fresh souls then.  Within months, student loans were paid off, he and his wife both drove fancy new cars, and they bought an apartment in one of the most stylish neighborhoods in New York City.  No more commuting in from New Jersey for Sam, he was a big shot now!

Business continued to boom for a while, and Sam and his family enjoyed the money he brought in.  Sure, it did bother him a little that he was selling souls to demons, but being able to put away money for the kids’ college and retirement made it easy to stomach that.  Soon, he was the longest tenured soul-seller in Hell.  His co-workers didn’t last more than a few years, treating the job as a stepping stone to bigger and better (and less evil) jobs, but Sam enjoyed only working three days a week, four if it was the busy season between January and March.

Last year, though, Sam noticed that they were hiring fewer and fewer salesmen, but his workload didn’t increase any, instead, it seemed to taper off.  He was still working three days a week, but instead of putting in the full eight hours, he was working half days instead.  His case overflowed with souls, because new ones would come in, but there just seemed to be less and less demand for them.  Nine out of ten doors he knocked on in Hell’s central office building turned him away, and the tenth wanted a discount.  First, they had to turn in the cars and get more economical sedans with good gas mileage.  Then they sold the fancy apartment and rented out a smaller place, forcing the two girls to share a room, something they protested about.  His wife went to work, wiping snotty noses and changing dirty diapers at a tiny, dilapidated daycare on the ground floor of their new apartment building.

Today was the last day of his work week, and the first day in the history of his job that he’d failed to sell a single soul.  He didn’t know how they were going to buy groceries this week and pay all of their bills.  While they hadn’t spent the money as fast as Sam had made it, they also hadn’t saved much, and there was little left in their emergency savings account.  He couldn’t put it off any longer–it was time to leave the soul business and find something new.  A soul in his case wailed, as if in agreement, and Sam started the car.  He was a good salesman, perhaps he could find something a little less…soul sucking in the telemarketing field.

Writing Prompt #4 Beginnings and Endings

Start with every morning she wrote down another reason not to nuke the planet, and end with she found that the green glass complimented her décor quite nicely.

Every morning, she wrote down another reason not to nuke the planet.  This morning’s reason, #547, was “the soft feel of sleeping puppy fur”.  She’d gotten a new puppy yesterday, and he was asleep on her lap as she wrote in her diary.  Mostly, it consisted of reasons that she shouldn’t go out into her father’s shed and fire up the machine he’d spent his entire life working on, but died before he could use it.  If used properly (and if it worked), it would exterminate everything with a certain genetic code, and her father had spent the last five years of his life sequencing and imputing DNA into his invention.

The next morning, reason #548 read “the way sunshine looks as it filters down through spring leaves on an oak tree”.  She packed a picnic and took Tad, the puppy, with her and ate underneath the oak tree, which was located next to the shed her father’s invention rested in.  She could almost feel it calling to her, and part of her longed to set the code to “human” and solve all of the world’s problems with the push of a button.  In the news the night before, there had been news of a mass rape in India, the emergence of a new serial killer that targeted children in New York City, and a hostage situation that ended up with six dead, including the newborn daughter of the hostage taker.

Reason #549 involved a gift from her sister.  The sister stopped by and dropped of a gorgeous piece of Depression glass she’d found at a local flea market.  Pleased with the gift, she’d hugged her sister and placed the piece of glass on a shelf next to her TV.  She found that the green glass complimented her décor quite nicely.

Feb-Write-Ary wrap up

It’s over, it’s over, it’s oooover, Feb-Write-Ary is over!  I set my goal at 10,000 words, and I just barely scraped past that.  A lot of what I wrote was blog posts, but as I’ve wanted to write more in both my personal journal and here, I count that as a success!  I also managed to put a couple thousand words onto the campfire story I started over the summer.  I got the idea for it while I was out walking my dog, and as soon as we got home, I sat down and wrote the first 1,000 words on it, then didn’t bother to touch it until this month.

I didn’t manage to even open Wolf Girl 2, but that’s okay, that’s what March is for.  I’m very close to the end of it, thankfully!  I think I have less than 3,000 words to do, and 700 of those words are already written, they just have to be inserted into the right place.

So, from a standpoint of writing, Feb-Write-Ary was very successful for me.  I met my goal, and while I didn’t actually complete any of my goals (finish WG2, finish the campfire story, finish another story that I’ve been working on), I did get a lot of work done on one of them.  Hopefully I can keep up the momentum on that story and then transfer it to Wolf Girl.

I really enjoyed this exercise, and I like that instead of the full month commitment that NaNoWriMo is–I tried to do Camp NaNo last summer, and it just didn’t work very well.  I think I can only handle one HUGE month of writing a year.  This broke it up into a more manageable chunk of time, and I got to set my own goal.  I went conservative and only set my goal at 10,000 words, but next year I will probably go higher, to 15,000 or 18,000 words.  Push myself a bit more.  Looking forward to that!

Have you written anything interesting in the last two weeks?

Published in: on March 1, 2013 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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