Sunday Summary – July 16, 2017

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Usually, I try to take stock in the first week or so of July, evaluating where I am and where I would like to be by the end of the year. The first two weeks of this July have been so busy I haven’t been able to do that yet, so I thought I might do it now, along with weekly reflections.

This week in writing

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The last two weeks I have sadly not been able to work on Memories and Magic, and I’m starting to get twitchy about it. After this weekend, I should be able to get back into my regular routines, but I am a bit behind where I hoped to be by now.

Goals:

  • Finish re-writing Part 2 of Memories and Magic by  the end of August
  • Finish re-writing Part 3 by the end of October
  • Finish revisions by the end of the year

This is possibly ambitious. There’s quite a bit to rewrite and expand upon. And I’ll once again be doing two uni subjects. But I would love to have this ready for readers by the end of the year.

This week in readingreadingthumb

After speeding through five of the Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket, I am back to The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig. I’m also listening to The Art of Purring by David Michie. This is the sequel to The Dalai Lama’s Cat, which I read some weeks ago and really enjoyed.

I’m well on track to reach my goal of 75 books for this year (and surpass it) and I don’t really have any other reading-related goals.

This week in blogging

blogginthumbThis keeps trucking along. I’d really like to have a bit more time to commit to blog hops, or memes on other places like Twitter, but I always seem to commit and then fall off the wagon after a week or so. So at the moment, my aim is just to keep posting regular reviews along with WWW Wednesday posts and the occasional tag on this blog, and WIPpet Wednesday and Sunday Sessions posts on Letting the Voices Out.

THIS WEEK IN STUDY

I’m still enjoying free time at the moment; next semester starts at the end of July. I’m going to be doing one core subject and one elective this semester. I proved to myself last semester that I can do two courses at once and still maintain my good results. I’ve only got 18 months left of this degree now. I’ve been enjoying it, but I also look forward to not studying any more.

This week in health and fitness

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I’m really not sure where I am on this at the moment, for a couple of reasons. When I weighed in last week, I appeared to have lost 5.4kg, which seemed unlikely, but I was willing to take it. This week, I appeared to have gained all that back.  I am also experimenting with not counting calories and just trying to be sensible about what I eat. So I may have really gained 5kg (unlikely) or there was an anomoly. Either way, it will take a couple of weeks to sort it out.

Goal: reach 74kg by the end of July. This might also be ambitious, but I’m aiming high.

That’s my week. How are you going?  ~ Emily

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Sunday Summary – June 18, 2017

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After a bit of an absence, Sundary Summary makes its return.  I think I should be able to keep this up now. Though to be honest, the past week hasn’t been the greatest to report on!

This week in writing

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I’ve been trying to revise a chapter every day of Memories and Magic, though that hasn’t gone as smoothly as I’d hoped. A number of reasons have factored into that, including fatigue and illness, but I’m hoping these will clear up soon and I’ll be able to get back into a proper routine with it.

 

This week in readingreadingthumb

I’m still reading Dracula by Bram Stoker very slowly, and I have just switched to the paperback format for Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (from audio). I have accepted I’m probably not quite going to completemy April-June TBR, but I’m going to come pretty damn close!

This week in blogging

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For first time in several weeks, I have managed to return blog comments and visit fellow blog hoppers. I also posted two reviews this week, again the first time I have managed this in a while: Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder and The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Michie. Not only that, but I have two reviews already scheduled for the coming week as well!

I’ve also started a new series on my writing blog, titled Sunday Sessions. Each week, I’ll reflect on some aspect of writing, whether my own writing or just in general.

THIS WEEK IN STUDY

I handed in my last piece of assessment for the semester on Tueday June 6, and it felt like a huge weight off my shoulders. And you probably don’t remember the assignment I was working on at the start of May, that I was quite convinced I’d fail… but I got a78 for it! Which may not sound like much depending on where you study, but at my university 80 is a high distinction.

This week in health and fitness

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Fitness has taken a back seat the last few weeks, and I know I need to pick it up again. I always feel so much better when I’m exercising regularly and eating well. My restart was going to be this week, but then I got sick. I’m hoping that I’ll be back on my feet soon enough and able to continue with this journey. 

That’s my week. How are you going?  ~ Emily

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Sunday Summary – April 16, 2017

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I know, I know, two posts in one day! But today did seem the most appropriate day for my previous post, being the end of the month, and since I didn’t do a Sunday Summary post last week, I wanted to get one done today. So here we are!

This week in writing

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I finished the first draft of Memories and Magic nearly two weeks ago now. It came in at about 51k. It needs a lot of revisions and I can envisage it getting up around 60k or so in further drafts. I have been thinking about a possible sequel and doing a bit of brainstorming for that. I’m also considering doing the Story a Day in May challenge again, so watch this space tomorrow!

this week in reading

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I’ve finished quite a few things over the last couple of weeks. You can read my April Wrap Up here for a full list. Hoping to get a bit further with my challenges over the next month!

This week in blogging

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Because I’ve been so busy with uni work over the last couple of weeks, I ended up taking a mini hiatus from blogging, so that I didn’t feel the weight of needing to visit other people. I’m also a bit behind on reading, which has left me a bit behind on reviewing. But after tomorrow, I’ll be much less stressed about uni, so I’ll be able to start making up for my absence.

THIS WEEK IN STUDY

My 4000-word report is due tomorrow. I’ve got the thing written, I’ve just got to go through and add in references (I did a lot of reading and then just keyboard-smashed, so the references need to be inserted). It’s not my best work, but given how stressed I was about this a week ago, I’m just glad to get it in. I’ve done the maths, and I’d have to do pretty freaking badly for a mark on this one paper to lead to failing the whole course.

This week in health and fitness

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Heh. Once again, I have gained back the weight I lost at the start of the month. It’s easy to blame Easter, but it’s really my own lack of willpower at times like Easter that does it. And when colleagues bring chocolate fudge in to work. However, now that I’ve finished the Beginners calendar on Blogilates, I can follow along with the monthly calendars, which means that there won’t be a gap while I’m waiting for new exercises. I’m hoping keeping consistent with that will keep me consistent overall.

Other highlights this week

My partner and I have had two great theatre outings this week. The first was to The Play That Goes Wrong, a West End comedy that I had wanted to see ever since seeing a scene from it on the Royal Variety Performance back in 2015. The second was a stage adaptation of Dracula by shake & stir theatre, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that it has been a long time since a piece of theatre affected me so much. I was still pacing around my kitchen an hour after we returned home because I was all a-buzz. Just the way the set, lighting and sound design all interacted with the performers made for an incredible show. I’ll stop gushing now but here’s the ad to give you just a glimpse of it:

That’s my week. How are you going?  ~ Emily

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Sunday Summary – April 16, 2017

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This week in writing

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The official ending (by which I mean, the actual last chapter/scene/line, not the general ending) of Magic and Memories is eluding me! I kind of know roughly what I’m after, but getting there is hard. I did write 2509 words this week, though.

I also had a very vague idea for a sequel last night. So maybe I could work on that when I finally put this one in a drawer for a few weeks. Though I also saw the new Beauty and the Beast movie on Friday night and now I want to write something sweeping and romantic.

this week in reading

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I finished both The Man from Snowy River by Elyne Mitchell on audio and Soulless by Gail Carriger. I wasn’t as into Soulless as I had hoped, but The Man from Snowy River was a really fun adventure! I’ve now go two contemporary YA novels on the go at once, and I keep getting them slightly confused.

This week in blogging

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I have responded to all blog hop participants and comments on my own blog. Woo! I have a review of Soulless scheduled for tomorrow, too, and I should be finished reading The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil in time to review that for Friday.

THIS WEEK IN STUDY

I did some study work yesterday but I have suddenly realised how close the due date for my 4000-word report is. So I am going to have to spend a lot of my free evenings working on that this week and the next. I also realised I have a small research proposal for my other class due this week and I have no idea what I want to research! Ahhh!

This week in health and fitness

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I wasn’t expecting much in terms of weight loss this week, seeing as how I have been eating a fair amount of chocolate and according to my own logging, I wasn’t really creating a calorie deficit. So imagine my surprise when I discovered I had lost 800g this week! I’m also six days out from finishing the Blogilates beginners calendar, and I have really toned up thanks to it. I’ll post some progress shots next week after I finish it.

Other highlights this week

Remember a while back I said to watch this space for an ‘OMG YOU GUYS I’M GOING TO NEPAL!” announcement. Well, I spoke to my doctor about the trek I wanted to do on Wednesday, and she has some advice for me to go on with in the lead-up, but essentially “OMG YOU GUYS I’M GOING TO NEPAL!” In 12 months, which is ages, and it feels so abstract that I am not the slightest bit excited by it yet, but it is happening. This is the trek: click the banner to read more.


That’s
my week. How have you been doing?  ~ Emily

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Sunday Summary – April 09, 2017

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This week in writing

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This was a bit of a slow writing week; I only wrote on three out of seven nights. There were various reasons for this but I won’t bore you with them here. I did hit 50k, though! I noticed some structural issues which were going to be too hard to fix as part of the current draft, so I’ve sort of skipped over a section of the story with the intention of fixing that all in the next version.

this week in reading

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I finished both Puberty Blues by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey on audio and Walpiri Women’s Voices in print this week. I have started listening to The Man from Snowy River by Elyne Mitchell and reading Soulless by Gail Carriger.

This week in blogging

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I have responded to the WWW participants but not to WIPpeteers! Oops! I only realised this this afternoon. However, I do have it on my Habitica to-do list and I’m hoping to still make it around before I reset the linky on Tuesday. I reviewed Puberty Blues on Friday and have a review of Walpiri Women scheduled for tomorrow.

THIS WEEK IN STUDY

This was the first week of the mid-semester teaching break so I didn’t have tutorial questions to answer or anything like that. I intended to do some more work on my significance report this weekend than I ended up doing, but I have reserved some relevant books at the library and will try to spend a few nights after work doing some research. By Easter weekend I will hopefully be able to start writing. It’s a 4000 word report due May 01.

This week in health and fitness

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Not much in terms of weight loss this week (I over-ate the last couple  of , but it was really exciting to take a “two weeks in” photo and compare with the photo I took before I started doing the Blogilates workouts. Even after two weeks, there was an obvious difference in how I looked. I’m already more toned. So that has motivated me to really keep going with the routines. Yay!

That’s me for this week. How have you all been doing? ~ Emily

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Sunday Summary – April 02, 2017

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This week in writing

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I didn’t quite make my goal of reaching 50k on Memories and Magic (this did have a “with” on the beginning of the title, but I’ve decided it’s better without) by the end of March, but I did reach 49k today! I wrote a total of 3031 words this week, which is the best I’ve done for a while. I have no idea how long this draft is going to be! The villain is still decidedly not defeated! While I have no qualms about A More Complicated Fairytale being on the shorter end of the novel spectrum, I am pleased that this one will be closer to the standard. I’ll  keep working away at this one, and hopefully the end will be in sight, maybe by the end of this month!

this week in reading

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I finally finished A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab. As I’ve already mentioned here, I think that will be my last Schwab book, as I’m just not that into her. I also finished He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly, which I won in a GoodReads giveaway. It reminded me both why I love the thriller genre and why it sometimes annoys me.

This week in blogging

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This is how a good blogger behaves! I replied to all the comments on my Wednesday post and visited both WWW participants and WIPpeteers by Thursday evening. I also got my Conjuring of Light review up on Friday, and have my he Said/She Said review scheduled for Monday. I’m on the ball!

THIS WEEK IN STUDY

I nearly didn’t hand in my assignment on time on Tuesday! but I realised with a couple of hours to spare, and got it submitted Tuesday morning. After that, I didn’t really do a whole lot of study, though I did do some reading yesterday and find a few resources for my next major assignment.

This week in health and fitness

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I weighed myself yesterday for the first time in a few weeks and am pleased to report I have lost the weight that I had re-gained. I think (hope) that I have found my stride and I should be able to keep up that momentum. I have made myself another 5kg in 3 months goal, so hopefully this time, I will be successful!

That’s me for this week. How have you all been doing? ~ Emily

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Sunday Summary – March 26, 2017

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This week in writing

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This week felt so much better after having a week’s rest. I’m back to working on With Memories and Magic, and I’m feeling it again! I did an extra writing session today, for a total weekly word count of 3227, which is my highest weekly total since mid-February. I’m hoping to reach 50k by the end of March!

this week in reading

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I’m still going with  A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab. It’s enjoyable when I’m reading it, but I’m not itching to pick it up again whenever I’m not.  I’ve also started He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly, which I won in a GoodReads giveaway. I wanted to read something in hard copy during my study breaks today, as taking a break from the computer to read ACOL on the tablet seemed counter-productive. I’m not far enough into it yet to really have an opinion.

This week in blogging

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While I responded to comments on this blog, that’s about all I managed this week. I had study commitments taking up most of my time, meaning visitng other people’s  blogs barely even occurred to me. This coming week will have to be a “do better” week. Since I haven’t been finishing any books, any reviews are delayed, too. Boo.

THIS WEEK IN STUDY

Today I finished the Linguistics paper I have due on Tuesday. For a while I thought it was going to be an “Ahh, I don’t have enough to say!”- type paper, but then I ended up meeting the word limit without too much trouble. I need to start thinking about my two big assignments soon, as time will start getting away from me and I won’t have anything planned.

This week in health and fitness

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This week has been “get my shit back together” week. For the most part, I ate better (there were a couple of not-so-great days) and on Thursday I started the Beginners calendar from a blog I just discovered, Blogilates, hosted by Cassey Ho. I’m going to try doing the four week program without any additional exercise and see how I look/feel at the end. I also plan on weighing in for the first time in a while on April 1, so stay tuned next week for that result.

Highlights this week

Despite neither of being huge fans of stand-up comedy, my partner and I decided to go along to a couple of Canberra Comedy Festival shows this weekend. The first one we saw was called Women Can’t Take a Joke, and it was an all-women lineup. There were some acts we liked better than others, but overall it was fun. Last night, we went along to the Clean Comedy Spectacular, which was actually more our thing, since things like dick jokes and swearing don’t really appeal.

That’s me for this week. How have you all been doing? ~ Emily

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Sunday Summary – March 19, 2017

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This week in writing

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This was one of those weeks where I could either do work at work, or I could do work such as writing at home. And there was also some uni work thrown in there. I was just not going to manage both. Obviously, I have no choice about those two things, so writing had to be put on the backburner. Honestly, I think it was a good thing. While I haven’t quite written all the scenes that are in my head for my contemporary Wizard of Oz retelling, I’ve returned to With Memories and Magic and I’m feeling really motivated, which is a sign the break I’ve taken was exactly what I needed. I met with some writing friends today and wrote 1000 words on it, and it was in a scene that was causing me trouble before I took the break. so that’s a sign it was exactly what I needed.

this week in reading

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In the couple of weeks since my last Sunday Summary, I’ve polished off a whole heap of books. Even with some disctractions, I still feel I’m doing reasonably well on my March TBR. Yesterday I finally started A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab, the third and final book in the Shades of Magic series. I’ve been a bit apprehensive because I was disappointed by the second book, but so far, so good!

This week in blogging

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While I am yet to visit the WIPpet Wednesday blogs for this week, it is still on my radar. I have it on my Habitica to do list for the week, which should mean it gets done either later tonight or tomorrow. I did, however, reply to all comments on my blog and receiprocate WWW Wednesday comments. I’ve also updated my 2017 Reading Challenges pages. I have a review scheduled for tomorrow but I’m not sure I’ll have finished reading anything in time for a review to be scheduled for Friday.

THIS WEEK IN STUDY

Here’s an ephiphany I had today: doing the assigned reading can help you understand the terminologies being discussed in class! What a surprise! I’m  shocked! Not really, of course, but I was reminded of it the hard way today, after angsting for a couple of weeks about not understanding a particular framework then realising there was a reading on it two weeks ago. I didn’t get quite as much done as I’d hoped today, given that I spent from 1pm to 8pm at the library, but I’ve given myself some good groundwork to continue with the next assignment, so I’m actually feeling pretty motivated and on track.

This week in health and fitness

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I’m actually not going to address this topic at the moment. I’ve sort of fallen off the wagon, I guess, but I’ll be reassessing my goals on April 1 and then I’ll go from there.

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Highlights this week

This week at work, staff received a talk from a very inspirational woman named Lucy Perry. While the title of the talk was Focus on Leadership, a lot of what she spoke about was women’s rights, and the work she has done with leading charitable non-profit organisations. I came out of it feeling incredibly inspired, and requested an info pack for the 2018 Trek for Rights event being run through Inspired Adventures in conjunction with UN Women. I have sent off an email with a few more questions, so there’s no firm commitment yet, but hey, in a few weeks, this section might be reading “OMG I’M GOING TO NEPAL, YOU GUYS!”

That’s me for this week. How have you all been doing? ~ Emily

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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 17 February, 2016

Happy Wednesday everyone! Hope you’re feeling a bit better than I am; I have taken today off work because my nose is all stuffed up and also I haven’t been sleeping well. Needless to say, I wouldn’t have been the most productive employee if I showed up to the office today.

 

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If I were an elf, this might be me lately.

I’m going to talk about writing first today. If you’re just here for WWW Wednesday, feel free to scroll about halfway down. Those who don’t follow my Facebook page (link to the right if you’d like to) would have missed the post where I announced that my proof of A More Complicated Fairytale arrived yesterday. And that is honestly very exciting. But at the same time, it’s a little overshadowed by the fact that lately, I’ve been finding it really hard to write. I mean really hard. I’m lacking in both inspiration and motivation, and allowing everything to distract me. Reading is much easier, so I’ve been spending all my time enjoying other people’s writing instead of working on my own. Of course, there’s nothing exactly wrong with that, but I know that if I’m serious about my writing, I can’t just ignore it full-time. I’ve identified some of the triggers that are making me feel this way in general (because it’s not just the writing, but the writing is suffering from it), and I’m working on addressing them, but until then, everything feels a bit sucky.

 

/moaning.

All that said, I have written a little more on the story I shared from last week, and I’ll share it now for WIPpet Wednesday. For those unfamiliar, WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop in which several writers come together to share excerpts from their WIPs that somehow relate to the date. You can click the little blue guy in the top right to join in. For my maths today, I’ve subtracted the 16 from 17 and have one paragraph for you. Amy’s trying to work out if she could get away with not telling her parents that she won’t be graduating this semester (for those who missed last week, she failed one of her subjects in what was supposed to be her final semester).

Maybe they didn’t have to know. They lived several hours away. Maybe she could pretend to have graduated successfully, get a job here in the city and re-take her final class over the next semester while she supported herself like a grownup.

wwwwednesdayNext up is WWW Wednesday, where we answer three questions about our reading over the past week. This is hosted by Sam over A World of Words. You can link up on today’s post on Sam’s blog to join in.

  • What are you currently reading?

I have just started Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek. I’m writing this post a little bit in advance and at time of writing, I am literally only halfway through Chapter One, so very little to say on that for now, but I hope I enjoy it! The ratings on GoodReads are very high.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I finished The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson and then went straight onto The Madness Underneath, which I finished in a day. The plot was definitely a lot stronger in the first book than the second, but MJ has a really accessible and easy-to-read writing style, so it took me about 150 pages of Madness Underneath to realise that nothing was really happening!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I mentioned Dawn French and Gillian Flynn in this question last week, but since I own those two books, they’re on hold for the moment because the library decided to have all my holds come in at once. I had Unwind by Neal Shusterman on hold for literally six months and it is finally here. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman also came in (dragons! yay! I love dragons), and The Shadow Cabinet, also by Maureen Johnson and the third book in the series, is showing up as “in transit” on my record, so I should be able to pick it up tomorrow.

That’s it from me this week. I’ll try to get around to as many blogs as possible over the coming days!

~ Emily

A very wordy #WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday

I’ll get WIPpet Wednesday out of the way first this week, as it is much shorter than the WWW part. WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop wherein writers share an excerpt from the current WIP that somehow relates to the date. The linkup is here.

You may remember last week, I mentioned that I had decided to try my hand at a contemporary romance. It is somewhat based on my experiences in living on campus during my first year of university, though the romance is an addition. And my MC isn’t studying art history. But anyway. That’s what I’m drawing on.

This is part of Bea’s first day at… okay, I’m going to use the word “college” because that’s what we call them on Canberra, but I’m actually referring to the residential hall. Semester starts the following week. Twelve lines from my notebook (my handwriting is rather large) for the 12th of the month.

Feeling the need for a break, she fished a mug out of the box containing her kitchen gear, and a box of teabags out of her supply of groceries. She knew there was a small kitchen at the end of the corridor, though she hadn’t visited it yet. She hoped it at least contained a kettle.

She found not a kettle, but an instant hot water tap at the sink and grinned. Not having to wait for boiling water at 3am when she was working on an essay was okay by her.

She hasn’t even started uni yet and she already knows what she’ll be like.

Onto WWW Wednesday, a reading meme hosted by Sam.Visit her blog and link up with others.

  • What are you currently reading?

Erm… more things than I usually let myself read all at once.

The Viper and the Urchin by Celine Jeanjean and it continues to be fun. I really like both main characters, and their uneasy relationship is being well-developed. But the book is quite light-hearted, which is nice. Also, I want to visit Susie’s Coffeehouse. If you like steampunk and/or assassins and/or street urchins, you should read this book.

I’m about 35 pages into Dust Girl and really need to devote some more time to it. The main character, Callie, is the daughter of a white woman and a black man in 1930s Kansas; though her father disappeared before she was born [I’m fairly sure this is a plot point]. As I said, I’m not very far into it, but I do know that the Fey are soon to be involved, in the form of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. I really like the non-traditional setting for this type of story, and I think I’ll enjoy it a lot.

I’m also listening to the audio book of Jane Austen’s Persuasion and… okay, confession time: I really struggle to read classics. I love the stories they tell, and I will happily sit through a BBC adaptation of any of them, but the writing style and I just don’t agree. Even listening to the audio, I am finding this a bit much. Also, my iPod randomly stopped working today, so I might have to take an enforced break either way, depending on whether I get it going again.

And I started Balanced on the Blade’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker today, because I could get the first three books in the series for 99 cents, and then the audio to companion to said three books for another $3. A pretty good deal, you must admit. And it was something to replace Persuasion when my iPod broke. Having said that, I was listening to it while working on reasonably annoying things at work, and I only figured out what was going on when I read the synopsis on GoodReads. I think I’ve got the hang of it, though, now. What I listened to on the way home made more sense.

… Wow, this answer ended up long. I talk too much.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I didn’t exactly finish Throne of Glass, but I did give up on it. The main character was making silly decisions I disagreed with or didn’t feel made much sense, and I read some spoilery reviews and it seemed she was going to keep doing that. So I stopped wasting my time.

  • What do you think you will read next?

Still have the library’s copy of Crewel sitting on my bedside chest, so I should get on to that. And then I should get my “Currently Reading” back down to one or two before I pick anything else up.

I worked the late shift tonight (as in, didn’t leave work until 8pm because I was on the desk until then), so I really need to go to bed now. I’ll catch you all soon!

~ Emily