Writing and Reading log – June 2017

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One of my doodles!

Welcome once again, my dear readers on these pages!

And welcome to my personal reading and writing account I share once a month with you!

I have to admit that lately I haven’t been very consistent. I haven’t written new words for my WIP. Loads of useless thinking and no practice to be honest.

I think I’m tired, as simple as that.

Hence this will be the last post for now. I’ll take a break in order to give myself as less things to do as possible so I can come back stronger.

From time to time I might publish my doodles, like the one you see in this post, but that’s the best I can promise at the moment.

I really have to stop the blog writing at times like this, hopefully it’s just a matter of organization. If it is, I’ll figure out a way to improve!

And here we go with the numbers:

Word written for the WIP: 27191 words but there is a big chunk copied from the notebook. In order to see progresses I’ll have to finish that task!

Fairy tales written: 5 + ideas already for the last two. For number 6 the head sentence with the character’s name is already on paper.

Blog post written this month: 4on4, out the skin of my teeth really, but who complains.

Researching: N/A

Plotting: N/A

As for the reading, I’m still concentrating to narrow down the number of the books I’ve started a while ago.

Being sick at home I manager to give a good push to the Diary of Anne Frank and to finish the book thief.

Still the list is too long and I’ll have to reduce it. Although I have so many titles active at the same time, I end up in reading one by one anyway. So why should I have to complicate my life so much!

Just to summarize:

There is no news for Irish ghost stories,

Wizards first rule, Memorie del sottosuolo, The wisdom of the dead man, A Song of Ice and Fire, Enciclopedia. Tutta la seconda Guerra Mondiale-volume 1, Irish Ghost Stories and Madame Bovary.

However, there is bit of improvement for the other titles:

Delitto e castigo – I’m at page 236 on 677.

The book thief – Finished!!! So sad, sad finale…almost cried!

Outlander – I’m at page 408 on 684.

Hunger – I’m at page 246 on 684.

Diary of Anne Frank – I’m at page 155 on 351

American Gods – I’m at page 189on 640 (plus extras)

So, this is it for this month.

As usual, my dear readers, I ask you to help me, in case you have some wise tips to give me!

Have a lovely weekend and I’ll see you as soon as possible on these pages!!!

As I said, it’s time once again for my break!

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Writing and Reading log – May 2017

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I cannot say loud I’ve done a darn good job, but at least I can admit that I’ve done better than last month.

As I did in my previous months, I’ll update you on my situation, writing and reading wise!

Hopefully you won’t get too bored by the account. For sure, it’s useful for my own records and to give me a pat on the back for the small progresses.

Considering the amount of time I have at my disposal, I guess every step forward is a win!

Writing is still hard. I have written and published this post in between my coffee breaks and the commuting time.

I haven’t written daily my 300 words in the past few weeks, simply because I had to admit that the breaks and spare niches of time aren’t enough for blogging, writing the WIP and my fairy tales!

It took me a huge deal of convincing myself that writing is writing anyway, but I’ll still try to organize better!

There is always room for improvement, right?

And here we go with the numbers:

Word written for the WIP: 25567 words but there is a big chunk copied from the notebook. In order to see progresses I’ll have to finish that task!

Fairy tales written: 4 + I started number 5.

Blog post written this month: 4 on 4, well 5 if we count this too!

Researching: N/A

Plotting: N/A

As for the reading, I’m still concentrating to narrow down the number of the books I’ve started a while ago.

Mea culpa, I’ve started again a new one but I couldn’t resist. To the short list of books, well the one that was supposed to be the short list of books, I’m bringing on right now, I added American Gods by Neil Gaiman

So just to summarize:

There is no news for Irish ghost stories,

Wizards first rule, Memorie del sottosuolo, The wisdom of the dead man, A Song of Ice and Fire, Enciclopedia. Tutta la seconda Guerra Mondiale-volume 1, Irish Ghost Stories and Madame Bovary.

However, there is bit of improvement for the other titles:

Delitto e castigo – I’m at page 234 on 677.

The book thief – I’m at page 448 on 554.

Outlander – I’m at page 408 on 684.

Hunger – I’m at page 246 on 684.

Diary of Anne Frank – I’m at page 65 on 351

American Gods – I’m at page 123 on 640 (plus extras)

So, this is it for this month.

I always try to improve and increase the numbers. I suspect that I’ll have an easier life when I’ll give up to the fact that I have my limits.

Everybody can go over his own limits, of course, but it’s not an easy task.

As usual, my dear readers, I ask you to help me, in case you have some wise tips to give me!

Have a lovely weekend and bank holiday and I’ll see you soon on these pages!!!

Writing and Reading log – April 2017

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From my recent not existing posts, it seems that I’ve taken an expected month of holiday.

April flew by and, without realizing it, I was swallowed whole by the routine and the fatigue.

I want to assure you that I’m doing another attempt to organize my whole life and writing habit and space. If I’m lucky, I’m at least on the right path to get there.

I thought then, that my first and last post of the month would be an update regarding my reading and writing, mostly because there are some changes.

As for my WIP, the good news is that I keep going on writing every day. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but at least it stays as a habit.

The biggest change I was talking about happened exactly about writing. Thinking about on what could optimize my time and my writing, I asked myself what was the one thing I always have with me. The reply was pretty obvious: my phone. As usual, you never notice the little things next to you and you bang your head senseless trying to find the solution that had been there from the very beginning.

Following there is the phase in which you feel the biggest idiot on Earth and then you move on!

All these words to say that I’ve started to use google drive on my phone.

I shared with my work pc the files containing my WIP, my blog posts, and the project in Italian that now took a final direction: fairytales (they’re set in my fantasy world but they’re just, well, fairytales!). I shared as well a couple of other files that will help me with the writing; wherever I’ll go, my babies will be with me.

I just got two big problems:

One – I don’t know yet where to place my plotting and my researching. This means that the Hunter Journal’s project is on hold, although I’m taking notes of everything I notice in the streets.

Also, the plotting for both the WIP (final touches) and the urban fantasy are on hold.

Two – I’ll have to copy all the words that had been already written on the notebooks. Form a very free calculation there must be around 32K words in there.

Hopefully, I’ll manage to sort the both of them.

From now on then, I’ll try to simplify the writeometer, let’s call it this way, values along with the book pages.

This way will let me have a tidier post and a reference for me, in case I want to track my progresses.

Word written for the WIP: 18,522 words

Fairy tales written: 3

Blog post written this month: 0 on 4 …oh what a shame!

Researching: N/A

Plotting: N/A

As for the reading, I’m still concentrating to narrow down the number of the books I’ve started a while ago.

I’m still reading some of them together, of course. Also, I’ve started and finished a new one and started a further new one.

So just to summarize:

There is no news for Irish ghost stories,

Wizards first rule, Memorie del sottosuolo, The wisdom of the dead man, A Song of Ice and Fire, Enciclopedia. Tutta la seconda Guerra Mondiale-volume 1, Irish Ghost Stories and Madame Bovary.

However, there is bit of improvement for the other titles:

Delitto e castigo – I’m at page 222 on 677.

City of bones – It’s finally finished.

The book thief – I’m at page 354 on 554.

Outlander – I’m at page 408 on 684.

Hunger – I’m at page 246 on 684.

I’ve read and finished The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne and I’ve started the Diary of Anne Frank.

And that’s it for the moment.

As usual, I’ll be very grateful for any advice you might want to share with me.

I wish you a nice bank holiday on the 1st of May and I hope I’ll be back posting once a week as intended.

At least I can promise you I’ll do my best to manage.

Oisín the great! – Review of Mad Grandad series  

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As you know from my previous posts, one of my favorite writers ever is Oisín McGann.

I followed two of his writing workshops and I appreciate him not only as writer but also as teacher.

I loved his young adult books I’ve read and I’m looking forward to read the rest, although I’m a very slow kind of reader.

A part from those books, what I was aiming to find were the ones for kids.

Now that Maya is in Junior Infant I had the excuse to buy them. She still cannot read, but she’s old enough to follow stories more complex than a fairy tale.

My only problem was that it’s not very easy to find them in book stores.

The first two I found were Mad Grandad and the flying saucer and Mad Grandad and the robot garden.

Maya absolutely loved them. And to be brutally honest with you, I loved them too, I was bent in two for the laughter.

Oisín is an honest writer. In his books, there is everything he teaches about writing: while you turn the pages, it seems you’re hearing his advices.

We should write simple things, something easy to be identified with, of course adding a twist that makes them even more interesting.

Simple elements are easily recognized. Readers would emphasize better with the characters and the story.

Take for example these first books, what’s more normal than going to spend the day with your grandpa? Everybody can relate to that!

But then, if you make the cool grandad bring his grandson to buy a flying saucer or to assemble a gardener robot that has been in the cellar for ages folded into a box, you add a simple twist that is hilarious!

However, after I spent almost two months reading in loop these two volumes as Maya forgot completely the other hundreds she has at her disposal, I thought it was the time to buy the rest.  

I ordered then online Mad Grandad’s wicked pictures, Mad Grandad’s doppelganger, Mad Grandad and the mutant river, Mad Grandad and the Kleptoes.

Let me tell you, my dear readers, if I laughed my ass off with the first two books, I did even more with the rest.

These books aren’t just funny, they’re clever, creative, brilliant and enormously real story-wise. You have the sensation, and you really wish, that these adventures might happen to you one day.

Oisín is genius and these books don’t disappoint even the adult readers, who are used to Oisín’s other novels.

In these last books I bought, grandad and Lenny have to deal with some paint from the 70s that come to life, with a couple of doppelgangers who wants to find friends, with a mer-model fished in a river and with some weird beings living in grandad’s couch.

I have to be honest with you, I was so sorry when I finished them, I wanted more.

But I wasn’t the only one! This is the dialogue with Maya following the last page of the last book:

“Mummy are we buying more?”

“Maya, I’m sorry, but this was the last Mad Grandad adventure in the series… Oisín wrote a couple of other books for kids and…”

“It’s Ok mummy, we can ask Oisín to write more!”

“Yes…”

I don’t know if we can ask, but we hope he will!

Meanwhile I’ll order the other three books I spotted, I’m sure that Maya and me will love them too.

Well done Oisín, keep up the good work!

Writing and Reading log – February 2017

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I meant to write this post two days ago, my dear readers, but I didn’t really manage!

I have to say that, a part from a recent setback, I’m proceeding both with my reading and my writing, slowly but constantly.

As for my WIP, I keep going on with my writing 3 pages a day. I finished the first notebook and the second one is starting to get that shape of lived paper I love. I’m confident enough that I’ll be soon tackling the notebook number three.

On the back of my head I still have that angry voice telling me that I’ll regret this hand-writing thing when I’ll have to type my book into a Word file.

However, I manage to keep this voice at bay telling her that, at least, now my novel is going on steadily.

I’m optimistic today! If I keep going like this, I’ll manage to finish, not only this novel, but all the ones I’ve planned…sooner or later!

True that I’m behind of a few pages lately, but this might always happen.

I’m just happy that, otherwise, this has become a habit, this was my goal.

Next goal is to become able to post a blog every week.

I didn’t manage last week, for example, but I’ll try my best.

Maybe introducing one small goal per time I’ll manage. True is that my spare time is still the same, but It’s a good challenge and I’m on it!

 

As for the reading, I’m still trying to narrow down the number of the books I’ve started a while ago.

However, since old habits are hard to die, I’ve brought on three of them together and I’ve started again the audiobook Shadow magic, as I didn’t remember the beginning.

So just to summarize.

There is no news for Outlander, Hunger, Irish ghost stories,

Wizards first rule, Memorie del sottosuolo, The wisdom of the dead man, A Song of Ice and Fire, Enciclopedia. Tutta la seconda Guerra Mondiale-volume 1 and Madame Bovary.

However, there is big improvement for the said three titles:

Delitto e castigo – I’m at page 202 on 684.

City of bones – I’m at page 348 on 506.

 The book thief – I’m at page 120 on 554.

 And that’s it for the month of February.

I’m sorry because this month you’ll see two post on the same topic!

As mentioned, I’m trying to get more persistent on this and I’m confident that I’ll reach the point where I’ll blog constantly with no problem.

As usual the problem is I’m not very organized, but still open to advice.

So, in case you have any good one, please write to me in the comment.

Have a lovely day!

I’d love to be like her!

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Google search. Love One Piace small Robin!

Maybe one of the most interesting part of being a writer or at least an aspiring writer is getting the ability to live someone else’s life.

You can live through your writing the life of someone similar to you or someone totally different, or someone who you would like to be, it doesn’t really matter.

As for me the characters I love more and I enjoy more to write about are those whose lives I would like to live or the ones I’d never dare to live, like the villains.

It’s not a secret I’m a bit boring and I live a very anonymous life. However, giving a hint of my character to my fictional creations, I can write scenes where I live fully, I dare, I fight, I ride horses, I find a dragon, I use magic and so on…

Likewise, when I read a book or I watch a film or a TV show, when I see a character I like, I start to think how she’s so much better compared to me and how much I would like to be more like her.

True is that, if you take this awe and admiration as push to improve yourself, it might be useful as well.

Following I decided to make a list of fictional characters – it doesn’t matter if from books, films, TV shows, manga or anime – whom I’d love to be alike, at least for a piece of their behavior or attitude!

Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games: I’d love her strength, her practical expertise and her ability to land on her feet after a fall.

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter series: I love her knowledge, her ability to remember so many things after reading them only once.

Sara Lance from Arrow universe: I love her strength and commitment. She’s just cool.

Claire Randall Fraser from Outlander: I’d love to have her spirt of adaptation and her ability to heal won’t hurt either.

Lagertha from Vikings: She’s strong, she’s a warrior and only a greater good can convince her to come to a compromise.

Charlie from Supernatural: she’s smart and nerdy, bust she’s brave as well, sometimes pushing herself over her limits.

Mrs. Errol, mother of Little lord Fauntleroy: she’s a great mother and a great woman. I wish I could be like her.

Molly Weasley from Harry Potter series: she’s a great mother too. I might identify a couple of traits with her as she worries about everybody and caring for them; but at the same time, she’s strong and brave and daring. She can endure whatever pain and offence, but if you’re touching the family, you’re in deep trouble.

Robin from One Piece: she’s a pirate, the one kind I love most – which is the villain with a big heart – but she’s extremely cultured, brave and strong.

I think that’s it, there might be more, but I’m still on time for a later update!

Actually, writing down the names I realized I have a pattern.

I’d basically love to be braver, stronger, a better mother and have a wider culture.

What I can promise you is that I’ll try my best to be braver, stronger and a better mother. Not sure of what the result will be, but still I’ll do it!

How about you, my dear readers?

Is there anybody you’re admiring so much that you would like to be more like her or him?

Let me know in the comments below!

Writing and Reading log – January 2017

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The last post of this month is not one of those I wrote during the holidays, but I thought that this year I’d start putting some order in my life and in my head…at least where I can.

Hence, I’ve decided that maybe the wisest thing to do was to merge my writing and reading logs into one.

 

Following is the listing of the books I’m reading at the moment and the updates on the status of them. To be honest with you, what I’m trying to do, is to reduce the number of the books I’m reading at the same time, so to be mentally more organized.

Outlander– Not gone very far, I’m at page 362 on 863.

Hunger– Here no news, I’m at page 234 on 586. It still makes me anxious to read it. But it’s very good, I have to win the battle.

Irish ghost stories– Here no news, I’m still at page 42 on 1102.

Wizards first rule– Here no news, I’m still at page 114 on 764.

 

Memorie del sottosuolo– I found it and I’m at page 28 on 196-ish

Delitto e castigo– I went on a bit on and I’m at page 184 on 684.

The wisdom of the dead man –  I’m still at page 37 on 469. Probably I will start again from the beginning in order to enjoy it more.

A Song of Ice and Fire –  volume three- Here no news, I’m still at page 192 on 569.

 

The scorch trials– Finished. I’m really waiting to see what will happen with the third film. Muhahahaha! They’ll so made a terrible mess!

City of bones – Went on for a while. I’m at page 208 on 506.

 

The book thief – I’m still at page 58 on 554.

 

Enciclopedia. Tutta la seconda Guerra Mondiale-volume 1– I’m still at page 53 on 493.

Madame Bovary– It’s lost in the phone somewhere but haven’t touch it from the last time! Again!

Shadowmagic– Ongoing, cannot exactly quantify as it’s an audiobook too! And once again I haven’t moved from the last time.

As for the writing, folks, I’m not going that fast unfortunately, but I have to be honest, I’ve been more consistent than the past few months.

You’ll read in one of my next posts, that the wrong approach I was having in my life was related to the goal setting.

I probably expected too much from myself. But it didn’t work and the result was just frustration and interruption of what I was doing.

During my Christmas break then, I came up with the idea of trying smaller goals. But, most of all, I’m trying not to be mean with myself and not get frustrated if I don’t manage to do what I’m supposed to do.

The smaller goals correspond to three pages of notebook written daily. I know that it seems just a little.

However, here what Stephen King says and actually helps me a lot: “Write a page a day, only 300 words, and in a year, you have written a novel”

See? I’ve actually counted.

Since I’m writing on a notebook, to avoid the internet distractions and to have a portable thing on which I can write potentially everywhere, I counted that 3 notebook pages correspond to 300 words.

Ok, it’s not much. Some days I manage to write more. Still, it’s doable the most of the times.

And the big pro is that my self-confidence is benefiting from that.

Also, once a week I set the goal of publishing a post on this blog, of plotting for 30 minutes and of preparing the draft for the next week’s post.

I’m still proceeding slowly and sometimes I don’t meet my goals, but I’m working hard.

I know that some of you will do more and I respect you. I wish I could, but for the moment this is my best, considering the roller coaster-like life I’m living.

And how do you do?

How do you get organized?

Tell me in the comments below, I’m open to suggestions!