Take That, August

Hold on! It’s still August, I can get this in…

Y’all know how hot it is in Georgia in August, right? I mean, whether you live in the Piedmont region in the northern part of the state or the Coastal region down south, you’re gonna get hot served with a side of humidity. Makes a body just want to sort of…do…a whole lot of…nothin’. (I give you the squirrel as Exhibit A.)

Honestly, I feel like if you looked in the dictionary under “languishing” it would say “See Georgia in August.” (Exhibit B)

So one has to accommodate the weather and sync up one’s goals accordingly. Which is why I spend August catching up on reading. I wrote all about that over at The Muffin with “The Busy Bee Reader.”

But then I thought I’d spend the last couple weeks at the beach because if a body wants to be really good and hot and sweaty AND has a hankering for mosquitos, the islands are just about perfect.

Anyway, in between the sweatin’ and swattin’, I had a thought. Actually, I had a whole bunch of thoughts and I somehow found the energy to write ’em down. And I found that if a body stays inside with AC blasting, one can open up a document and start a new story. That’s desperation for you, when a person would rather write than go down to the beach.

And so with books read and story started, I came back home. (But not before “An Alarming Situation” came up, which you can also read about over at The Muffin.)

So wherever you are, please take care of yourself.

And as for you, August, I got readin’ and writin’ AND a blog post in. I rest my case.

Whatcha Reading?

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The reality of my book shelves

Writers tend to be voracious readers, don’t they?

Of course, I was more voracious before I started writing so seriously; now, I squeeze in my reading in odd little increments here and there. Still, I savor any snippet of reading time, and I’m sure I’m a better writer because of reading.

During early days of writing kidlit, I read a lot of kidlit. Because I was drawn to writing middle grade and chapter books and humor, those are the books I sought out in my library. And then I immersed myself in picture books because I had a hankering to write a picture book or thirty-seven. Then back to middle grade and YA novels where my heart was calling. If I wanted to write kidlit, I figured, I needed to be kidlit.

Or something like that.

But a funny thing happened. I missed adult books. I missed mysteries and women’s fiction and award-winning novels. I hungered for Brit wit and classics and Neil Gaiman’s fairy tales. Oh! And ghost stories! I love true ghost story collections!

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The book shelves of my sweet dreams

And so I began to sneak in an adult novel here and there, or a cheesy ghost story paperback, into the old TBR pile. To be honest, those sneaky books would always somehow end up on the top of the pile. So I’d practically read ’em under the covers– and get back to my serious kidlit reading before anyone caught me.

Until one day when I realized that any reading–even the really bad stuff– is good for me and my writing.

Goodness. That was a long way to go to ask what are you looking forward to reading in 2018? Do you have reading goals? I hit my goal over at Goodreads for 2017, thanks to a pile of terrific rhyming picture books I read there at the end of the year (and a ghost book or two).

So. I started this year with a book of essays, I WAS TOLD THERE’D BE CAKE by Sloane Crosley.

And you know what? I’m enjoying every delicious minute of it!

 

Friday’s Fun Find: A Goodreads Glimpse at 2014

Goodreads pic close upI opened the inbox today to find my Goodreads Year in Books!

I love Goodreads so ridiculously much! At the start of the year, I sign on to the Reading Challenge and get motivated to pile up the reading points. (My goal this year was 60 and yep, I made it!) At the end of the year, the Goodreads team gives you all kinds of stats about the books you read.

For example, I read 12,143 pages this year. Which sounds pretty impressive, even though I know about a dozen of my books were picture books. But a book is a book, no matter how small. And goodness, I read some wonderful big AND small books this year!

(Thanks to Goodreads, I can even remember them.)

Psst. What was the best book you read this year?