Category: Books/Writing

Apr 13

Mini Sort-of Hiatus

Books/Writing, Life 3


Hi everyone!! Just a quick note…I’m not completely going on hiatus, but my usual posts are going on hold until I can get moved (hopefully about 2 weeks). I tried but I just don’t have the ability to do it all, I can’t concentrate! I’m still reading in the evenings – have to have SOMETHING to de-stress, but writing posts and reviews has kind of gone out the window. My place is a disaster zone, everything is halfpacked and everywhere and…AAAAAAAHHHH!! That picture up there? Yeah, that’s actually the floor of my spare bedroom right now. 😝

On the bright side, once we actually fly out of Korea, we’ll be on vacation for about 3 weeks and I should have plenty of time to catch up. 🙂 In the meantime, I’m throwing up some reviews on GoodReads now and then, so please go give me a follow if you haven’t already! See you all soon.

The Bent Bookworm @ GoodReads 

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Apr 05

Writing Up Wednesday #10: The Craft of Writing

Books/Writing 0

writing up wednesday

Welcome to another week of Writing Up Wednesday! I’ve been so excited to see more people participating in this, I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂 One BIG NEW THING I’m announcing this week is the creation of the Writing Up Wednesday page, where you can currently find the next 2 months of topics posted. I know a lot of people write their posts in advance, so I wanted to provide that opportunity to you all. 🙂 I’ve also added a list of previous weeks topics that I will try (key word) to keep updated. So on to this week! I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say about this one.

Besides the writing I do for my blog, I’ve also started writing fiction again this year. NaNoWriMo 2016 really kicked me into gear and got me excited about writing again. It’s an excitement that I hope will last, and there’s no better way than to keep motivation up than to share it! I know a lot of my blogger friends also have writing goals outside of their blogs. Week to week I want to discuss various different topics related to writing, and I’ll put a link-up at the bottom of each topic post. This week we have:

Writing Up Wednesday #10: The Craft of Writing

How do you learn? Some people insist writers are born, not made. Others say it takes years of learning from authors and teachers to perfect the art. What do you think? What have you done to learn your craft (or not)?

Be sure to add your link-up below! I’m still in a mental funk from the ankle break and moving issues, so I’m just posting the topic for now…I could write a very long post on this topic but just don’t have the energy at the moment. I’m participating in CampNaNoWriMo too, so that’s taking a lot of my time right now!

 

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Apr 04

Down the TBR Hole #19

Books/Writing 2

down the tbr hole

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing Down the TBR Hole meme by Lia at Lost in a Story (who has, somehow, already made it completely through his own TBR)!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. As of today, I have…625. Which is the same as last week, but considering how many books I’ve been reading through lately…it’s appalling. Which is why I’ve decided to start doing through 10 books at a time for this prompt! Covers link to GoodReads.

Title/Author: Wicked (The Wicked Years #1), by Gregory Maguire

Date Added: May 9, 2015

Thoughts: This is one of those wildly popular books I’ve never got around to reading.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: The Outlaws of Sherwood, by Robin McKinley

Date Added: May 9, 2015

Thoughts: Uhhhh…WTF was I thinking here?

Judgment: Go!

Title/Author: Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey #1), by Dorothy Sayers

Date Added: May 10, 2015

Thoughts: Ah yes, one of the greats of crime writers…whose work I still haven’t read. Some prefer Sayers to Christie (the sacrilege!), so I definitely have to try this.

Judgment: Keep!

Title/Author: The Last Bookaneer, by Matthew Pearl

Date Added: May 10, 2015

Thoughts: Oh, have I STILL not read this? I loved Pearl’s other books, especially The Dante Club.

Judgment: Keep!

Title/Author: Mistress Firebrand, by Donna Thorland

Date Added: May 10, 2015

Thoughts: . . . . wha??

Judgment: Go.

Title/Author: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (#1), by Douglas Adams

Date Added: Ummm…May 10, 2015?

Thoughts: I’m confused. I distinctly remember listening to this on audiobook eons ago. So…that’s an instant plus 1 to my read shelf!

Judgment: Go (but stay)! Haha.

Title/Author: A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books

Date Added: May 10, 2015

Thoughts: Ohhhhhh yes.

Judgment: Keep!

Title/Author: Untamed (Medieval, #1), by Elizabeth Lowell

Date Added: May 10, 2015

Thoughts: Sort of interesting, but it’s mainly a romance.

Judgment: Go.

Title/Author: Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander #1), by Karen Marie Moning

Date Added: May 10, 2015

Thoughts: This one is for those moments when a book needs to be all fluff and fanning yourself, the author came recommended from…I can’t recall who now.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Of Beast and Beauty, by Stacey Jay

Date Added: May 11, 2015

Thoughts: Beauty and the Beast retelling? Yes please. And this one sounds like a fast read.

Judgment: Keep.

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4/10 off the list this week! Phew. I’ve just realized that I’m now into books that I’ve added in the last 2 years (i.e., since I’ve moved to Korea). May 2015 was a kind of adjustment time for me, and I was adding WHATEVER books I could because I was appalled at the library situation (but then I discovered Amazon Prime, so, you know).

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Mar 29

Writing Up Wednesday #9: Wordcount Woes

Books/Writing 2

writing up wednesday

Welcome to another week of Writing Up Wednesday! I’ve been so excited to see more people participating in this, I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂 One BIG NEW THING I’m announcing this week is the creation of the Writing Up Wednesday page, where you can currently find the next 2 months of topics posted. I know a lot of people write their posts in advance, so I wanted to provide that opportunity to you all. 🙂 I’ve also added a list of previous weeks topics that I will try (key word) to keep updated. So on to this week! I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say about this one.

Besides the writing I do for my blog, I’ve also started writing fiction again this year. NaNoWriMo 2016 really kicked me into gear and got me excited about writing again. It’s an excitement that I hope will last, and there’s no better way than to keep motivation up than to share it! I know a lot of my blogger friends also have writing goals outside of their blogs. Week to week I want to discuss various different topics related to writing, and I’ll put a link-up at the bottom of each topic post. This week we have:

Writing Up Wednesday 9: Wordcount Woes

Writers seem to either obsess over word count or ignore it altogether. Which are you? Why do you find it important or not?

Ah, the dreaded word count. For my fellow NaNo-ers, you know why word count is a big deal, at least for November (and the upcoming April, my first time participating in Camp NaNoWriMo!). However, the 50K NaNo goal aside, word count usually doesn’t come into consideration UNLESS you are planning to write for publication. Editors and publishers are stingy when it comes to space on the printed page!

I do want to have my work published one day. Wow, I said it out loud. But yes, I do…so when I set up the goals for my novel for this year, I kept in mind the generally accepted word count limits for different genres. My goal is a 100,000 word manuscript 1st draft, at minimum. Knowing my verbose self, it will probably be well over that when finished. Hah. When I made that goal in January, I calculated that I would only have to write 345 words per day to reach that goal! Wow! So achievable, right?

I’m sure you can imagine how well that went. I did okay for January, but February I totally fell off the bandwagon and haven’t been able to get back with it. I’m afraid to see where I sit with my current word count compared to where I should be. For about 3 weeks I didn’t write at all, but I’ve been plugging away almost every day now and my total is currently sitting at 16,000.

16,000/100,000. Easy math, that’s 16%. And we’re about a quarter through the year. THAT’S NOT GOOD FOR MY GOAL, FOLKS!

But you know what, it’s ok. It’s okay. Deep breaths. I can still do this. With some extra free time, focus, and motivation, I can do this. I may not be a published author yet, but I will be one day and I. Can. Do. This.

Now I just need to work up the courage to pull out my spreadsheets and see just how far behind I am…

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Mar 27

Down the TBR Hole #18

Books/Writing 5

down the tbr hole

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing Down the TBR Hole meme by Lia at Lost in a Story (who has, somehow, already made it completely through his own TBR)!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. As of today, I have…623. Which is the same as last week, but considering how many books I’ve been reading through lately…it’s appalling. Which is why I’ve decided to start doing through 10 books at a time for this prompt!

 

Title/Author: Firelight (Darkest London #1), by Kristen Callihan

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: Ehhhh….maybe good mind candy for days I need a fluff read. *reads descriptions of first few books* Or not.

Judgment: Go.

 

 

 

Title/Author: Ember (Darkest London #0.5)

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: See above.

Judgment: Go.

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk #1), by Bec McMaster

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: So, this is one of a series of romances, not one that follows one couple through as I originally thought.

Judgment: Go. I’m feeling truly ruthless today.

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: Mistress of the Art of Death (Mistress of the Art of Death #1) by Ariana Franklin

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: This still sounds really cool. Kind of like an adult Stalking Jack the Ripper vibe.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

Title/Author: Generation Kill, by Evan Wright

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: Uhhhhh…I think this might be an important thing to read, at some point. But right now it wouldn’t hold my interest. Such decisions…

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

Title/Author: A Duty to the Dead (Bess Crawford #1), by Charles Todd

Date Added: March 7, 2015

Thoughts: Oooh, creepy.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1), by Laini Taylor

Date Added: March 7, 2015

Thoughts: I feel like every book blogger out there has read this…except me. Haha.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

Title/Author: Into the Wild (Warriors #1), by Erin Hunter

Date Added: March 15, 2015

Thoughts: Not my usual, but seems to be a very popular MG series. Came recommended by friends.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

Title/Author: The Family Vault (Kelling & Bittersohn #1), by Charlotte MacLeod

Date Added: April 14, 2015

Thoughts: I added this because the author was listed as one of the first cozy mystery writers, alongside Agatha Christie.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

Title/Author: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

Date Added: May 5, 2015

Thoughts: Again, this is one of those that EVERYONE has read.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

 

OMG. This was NOT GOOD. 3/10!! I really thought going through more at a time would help. Holy crap. What am I going to dooooo? Obviously authors just need to stop writing. Obvs.

 

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Mar 22

Writing Up Wednesday #8: Motivation, Schmotivation

Books/Writing 0

writing up wednesday

Welcome to another week of Writing Up Wednesday! I’ve been so excited to see more people participating in this, I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂 One BIG NEW THING I’m announcing this week is the creation of the Writing Up Wednesday page, where you can currently find the next 2 months of topics posted. I know a lot of people write their posts in advance, so I wanted to provide that opportunity to you all. 🙂 I’ve also added a list of previous weeks topics that I will try (key word) to keep updated. So on to this week! I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say about this one.

Besides the writing I do for my blog, I’ve also started writing fiction again this year. NaNoWriMo 2016 really kicked me into gear and got me excited about writing again. It’s an excitement that I hope will last, and there’s no better way than to keep motivation up than to share it! I know a lot of my blogger friends also have writing goals outside of their blogs. Week to week I want to discuss various different topics related to writing, and I’ll put a link-up at the bottom of each topic post. This week we have:

Writing Up Wednesday #8: Motivation, Schmotivation

Motivation plays a big part in our writing. Or does it? Can you write without motivation? I think most of us would say no. Writing – unless you’re Stephen King or someone who has already “made it” big as a writer – is mostly done because we love it, not for monetary or any other personal gain. So what’s your motivation? Can you write on days you’re not feeling it?

Most of us write because we love it, or we have a passion to share with the world (hopefully both!). But surely I’m not the only one who opens my computer some days and it’s a bad day or a sunny day and I’m just not motivated to write a single damn word.

This past weekend, I was super freaking motivated. I had been stewing on a part of my novel for weeks. And weeks. I had barely written 100 words in that time. I was so caught up on this one thing. But then I finally decided that I just needed to WRITE, regardless of quality…and I struggled through that particular scene and then I. Was. On. Fire.

Last week, I had time to write. I had (theoretically) the ability. I even sat down and opened my current WIP in Scrivener a few times. And then I Facebooked. I blogged. I watched cat videos. I stalked GoodReads (my TBR is screaming again). I had no motivation. But, had I just forced myself, could I have written a few hundred words each of those days?

Yes. Yes, I could have. It’s my opinion that true motivation for a project never really dies – we may grow tired or disillusioned, but the spark we felt for the original project never actually leaves us. Sometimes pushing through the rough part is all we need to feel the heat of that first spark again. Now, can I write something without having felt any motivation for it in the FIRST place?

College essays, I’m looking at you.

But wait, that wasn’t truly without motivation. My motivation was to get the BEST GRADES possible, so I could maintain a high GPA. I might have despised what I was writing about, but that is still motivation, just of a different type.

Contrast that with me reading a short story contest blurb and having absolutely no interest in writing a 10K story about aliens and Kansas. Motivation? None. Not even the slim chance of winning whatever “grand prize” they’ve dreamed up will motivate me to write that story.

So, my answer to the original question is no. I, personally, cannot write without SOME type of motivation – be it that I simply LOVE the story I’m telling, or that I feel very strongly about something, or that I want a good grade. What about you? Be sure to add the link to your post below!

 

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Mar 20

Down the TBR Hole #17

Books/Writing 4

down the tbr hole

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing Down the TBR Hole meme by Lia at Lost in a Story (who has, somehow, already made it completely through his own TBR)!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. As of today, I have…uh…623. This week was HORRIBLE. I swear every single blog post I read featured a book that I just couldn’t bear to forget. As always…MUST READ FASTER. Or clone myself. That would be acceptable too. 😛 Anyway, this week I’m looking at numbers 87-91 of the original list.

 

Title/Author: After the War is Over (The Great War #2), by Jennifer Robson

Date Added: February 16, 2015

Thoughts: I must not have realized this was a sequel when I added it. Regardless, and despite my continued love for historical fiction, this series sounds very dull now.

Judgment: Go.

 

 

 


Title/Author
: Chateau of Secrets, by Melanie Dobson

Date Added: February 16, 2015

Thoughts: This actually still sounds really interesting. I’m a bit put off by how few reads it has, but it intrigues me.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: The Kraken King, Part One (The Iron Seas #4.1), by Meljean Brook

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: I’m so confused by this. I’ve never read anything by this author. And the book was published in installments…wtf?

Judgment: Go.

 

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: The Iron Duke (The Iron Seas #1), by Meljean Brook

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: Oh. Ok. THIS book is the first in the series that the last book came from…and actually sounds cool and fun.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: Warrior (The Blades of the Rose #1), by Zoe Archer

Date Added: March 1, 2015.

Thoughts: What is this Raiders of the Lost Ark looking thing…let me read this review…hahahaha ok nope.

Judgment: Bye.

 

 

 

 

3/5 gone this week. Progress! But not enough to make up for all the ones I’ve added since my last Down the TBR Hole post. Hehe. Oh well. Win some, lose some. I will never get tired of searching for and finding books. 🙂

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Mar 19

Something Else Sunday

Books/Writing, Cats, Gardening/Herbalism/Nature, Life 2

something else sunday

So, I’m changing up my posting schedule a bit. I’d been thinking about it for awhile and then Puput’s post on Figuring Out Your Perfect Blogging Schedule gave me the extra little push I needed.

I love books. I love writing. I love writing about books. However, I also have 50 million other interests (I’m not even really joking), as well as a family. I am also getting ready to move from Korea back to the States, which is a logistical nightmare and will undoubtedly eat up more than its fair share of time.

In order to continue to enjoy blogging and not burn out, I’m paring down my posts and narrowing in on focus. And here’s what you can expect!

Mondays: Down the TBR Hole
Tuesdays: Bookish or discussion post
Wednesday: Writing Up Wednesday
Friday: book review

If I feel inspired or have extra time, I may add additional posts, but for now this is what works best for me. You might notice, if you’re paying close attention, that Something Else Sundays are not on that list. I created this series because I still wanted to talk about my other interests. And lately…I just feel like they don’t belong here anymore. So I’ve created multiple instagram accounts and a little side blog for my garden/nature pursuits. You can find me in these various places:

Fiber arts Instagram: BentNeedles
Gardening Instagram: BentGardener
Adventure/Exploring Instagram: BentAdventurer

Now these things may bleed over now and then and I may still do personal updates every so often, but trying to come up with stuff every week was just exhausting. Especially when a lot of weeks, it seems like all I do is work and read if I’m lucky to have time! Oh, and…

Don’t worry, Sir Tristan will still be putting in appearances now and then as well. 😉 I hope this new schedule and the freedom from pressure I feel like it will bring me results in a blog that’s more fun for my readers, with less “extra” stuff that really isn’t in your interests!

Last week on the  blog:

This week:

  • Down the TBR Hole #17
  • Crown of Midnight (YA review)
  • Writing Up Wednesday #8: Motivation
  • Walking the Nile (nonfiction review)

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Mar 16

Writing Up Wednesday – Pause

Books/Writing 0

writing up wednesday

Hi everyone! Writing Up Wednesdays will be back next week. I’m taking a break this week to write a few posts in advance, and will have a list of upcoming topics updated sometime this weekend. This way we can ALL plan posts in advance…I know I don’t like waiting until the DAY OF to write something, so I don’t want to limit anyone’s participation by doing the same. So until I get the list together…

Next week’s prompt: MOTIVATION. What motivates you to write?

 

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Mar 13

Down the TBR Hole #16

Books/Writing 4

down the tbr hole

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing Down the TBR Hole meme by Lia at Lost in a Story!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. As of today, I have 615. MUST. READ. FASTER. Today we’re looking at numbers 82-86 of the original list.


Title/Author
: Midnight Riot (Peter Grant/Rivers of London #1), by Been Aaronovitch

Date Added: January 7, 2015

Thoughts: Um, what?

Judgment: Go!

 

 

 

 


Title/Author
: Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener, by Joseph Tychonievich

Date Added: January 8, 2015

Thoughts: I’m such a nerd. I love genetics, be they for plants, animals, or people. However, this book looks very basic in the descriptions and reviews I’ve read, and I really want something more detailed.

Judgment: Uhhhh…this is hard. But, go.

 

 

 

Title/Author: Deep-Rooted Wisdom: Skills and Stories from Generations of Gardeners, by Augustus Jenkins Farmer

Date Added: January 11, 2015

Thoughts: This sounds like a bunch of pretty little anecdotes…cute, but I don’t have time for this right now.

Judgment: Go.

 

 

 

Title/Author: The Tea Rose (The Tea Rose #1), by Jennifer Donnelly

Date Added: February 8, 2015

Thoughts: STILL want to read this, and since adding this one to my list I read another one of her books (Deep Blue) and really enjoyed it.

Judgment: Keep!

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: A Memory of Violets, by Hazel Gaynor

Date Added: February 16, 2015

Thoughts: This sounds like an OK book, but very slow and boring and…nah.

Judgment: Go.

 

 

 

 

Wow, that was better than I expected this week! 4/5 off the list. Which might have made up for the ones I added last week..maybe. Hehehe.

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