Posted in reading, Reading Update

Reading Update

We will call this… the one in which she is reading entirely too many books, but she can’t help herself.

I’ve been picking through 4 different books this week, and I don’t feel bad about it at all.

The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek, by Rhett and Link ❤

This is the book that I finished this week. The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett and Link from Good Mythical Morning. I wasn’t really sure what to expect getting into this one, but I have to say that I wasn’t upset about it. It was a really quick read (I finished the majority of it within one night, because my Libby Loan was going to expire xD) and it was really entertaining to read.

It has pretty normal mystery-kinda plot for the first three fourths of the book, and then the last bit of it is just a complete change. I loved it. I wasn’t sure if the two Mythical Hosts were going to be able to translate their comedy and brilliance onto the page, but they did great.

It could be because the two main characters are named Rex and Leif, and they are very, very similar to two of our favorite Youtubers xD


I am in the process of reading three other books. I haven’t finished them yet, so I’ll hold my opinions for the most part, but I’ll let you know what they are and how far into them I am ❤

The Shining by Stephen King, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
The Shining, by Stephen King. I’m about 30% done with this one.
The Way of Kings Part Two by Brandon Sanderson | Gollancz ...
The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson. I’m about 10% through the book… which is still a lot, cause it’s fat AF.

A fan's review of 'Midnight Sun,' after a marathon read of the 671 ...
Midnight Sun, by Stephanie Meyer. I have no guilt, only nostalgia. About 50% done with the one.

So, yeah. I’ve kinda started taking this approach to reading where I have multiple books going on at the same time. I think it’s because I have 2 reading tablets and I also read on my phone… and then have physical copies of books as well. I’m here and there and anywhere that my kids will let me be. Honestly, though, I am pretty pleased with how it’s coming along. I started my year on goodreads with a goal of 12 books, bumped that up to 24… and I am at 23, so I might actually go ahead and bump it up to 48. I’d like to push myself to really get more reading done, because it pumps my creativity up by so much.

A good writer is a voracious reader. It’s food for my brain.

Until next time, y'all! Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome! Author Amanda McCormick Instagram | Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group |
Posted in Creative WRiting

Rereading Your Favorite

The Forbidden Game, by L.J. Smith

So, here we are. I have committed to reading every day (amongst some other things that will be another post for another day). Last night, my kid hit his head and we landed in the ER (he is fine ♡) and I instantly went for an old favorite while we waited in observation for 2 hours.

Continue reading “Rereading Your Favorite”
Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Creative WRiting

Reading Thoughts

Deep Magic: A Contemporary Gothic Fantasy by [St. Kevern, Gillian]So, let’s talk about what I’ve been reading. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I went into my Kindle Market and flipped through the free books… and I found this.

It’s called Deep Magic, and it seems to be part of a 3 book series. I’m a sucker for a good trilogy, so that drew me in right away. As is the tradition for a lot of books that are free on Amazon, the first one was free, and it looks like I need to purchase the other two.

I’m not super far into it, but from what I’ve read as of yet, it seems like it is something that I’m going to end up buying the rest of. I’ll go ahead and grab the description for you guys!

Oliver Evans spent his youth spinning one tall tale after another until it got him over his head in trouble. Returning as an adult to his grandmother’s cottage in Aberdaron, Olly is determined to put his past behind him and settle down. But the misty Llŷn Peninsula hides dangerous secrets. Olly is torn between the Longing, a powerful force driving him away from the only home he has ever known, and the growing conviction that the merman prince of his childhood make-believe is real–and in desperate need of Olly’s help.

There is more truth in Olly’s stories than he realises. If he is to have any chance of righting past wrongs and rescuing his prince, Olly must navigate the truth in his old stories and discover the magic right in front of him. But Olly has a powerful enemy on the Llŷn, an ancient king who would like to end Olly’s story-telling permanently.

So, it’s a pretty nifty M/M fantasy type romance novel, and I have to say that it’s certainly snatched up my attention and is going to do a good job of keeping it from what I can tell. I’ll admit it to you guys and anyone else who wants to know, I am such a sucker for M/M romance – I don’t know why, I can’t tell you exactly why, but it has to be one of my favorite things to read (and to write, for that matter), so the fact that this contains that is enough to really snatch my attention as well, and keep me reading for a while.

I should be getting more of this read tonight or tomorrow. Hopefully, by next Friday I’ll be able to give you an actual book review and let you know my thoughts on it. So far, it’s fairly well written and I’m enjoying the characters. I’m curious about where it’s going to go.


As far as the novel, that is all that I have on it for right now. But I’m going to give you some more of my reading thoughts in general, and what you can expect to see on these Friday Updates.

What I’m really wanting to do is delve into the world of authors that aren’t well known, books that aren’t really talked about, self-published authors. The fact is, I think that they don’t get enough recognition, when in reality they can be some of the best hidden gems that there are in the novel world. I set myself a goal of reading 52 novels for the year, but even if I only find half of that in good self-pub and lesser known authors, I’m going to be pretty happy about it.

With that being said, if you have a novel that you can recommend, if you are a self published author who wants me to review your book, or if you know someone who could use the publicity of being featured in an in depths review, just let me know. You can either comment here, or send me an email at amandaleannemccormick@gmail.com. It’s one of my resolutions for the year – to reach out, to review self pubs, and to do everything that I can to help authors who aren’t getting noticed enough noticed.

I know how hard they work on their books, and I know how much they deserve it, so!

Now, this isn’t to say that I’m not also going to be reviewing traditionally published books, because I certainly am. There are some releases that I’m excited for, and a few other novels that have been out for a while that I’m going to get to… but expect to see a big variety from me.

That being said, this particular blog is just about wrapped up. I hope that you guys enjoyed it, and I can’t wait to tell you more about the novel that I’m currently reading!

Until next time, you guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being amazing!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Posted in author amanda mccormick, Creative WRiting

Currently!

Currently Wednesday

I found a blog post over on Katyupperman’s blog, and I found that it was something that I really wanted to do! It’s a thing called Currently – it informs people of what you’re currently up to… and I thought that it would be a fun little update to do on Wednesdays!


Loving

The RP That I’m partaking in. It’s actually an extremely fun point of my day. I generally do between 2-4 replies daily. It’s boosting up my word count, helping me develop my characters even more, and is overall just a joy to participate in. I’d actually forgotten for a long time as to how much I really enjoyed writing with another person, and getting to rediscover that has been a real joy.

Also, I’m still loving Pokemon Go. So there.

Reading

Harry Potter books are on my very soon list, and I’m currently reading Part 2 of the first In The Company of Shadows books. I might bounce around to some other things, depending on what my in the works Book Club wants to do.

Watching

Mmmm, a bunch of horror movies on HBO Go. I’ve been in that mood.

Listening To

Spotify still, though I’ve been going for a lot more of the hard rock as of late. If we want to get technically, right this very current second, I am listening to Lost at Sea by Zedd.

Thinking About

Boosting my word count up. I want this to be a really big month for words, because I really do want to make it to that one million words in a year goal that I have. It’s really close, and I know that I can do it if I put my mind to it… it’s just a matter of getting there. There are going to be days (like yesterday) where I just skate by with 1000 words for the day… so there need to be days where I write 5k+ in order to make up for that lackadaisical performance.

I guess, currently, I’m thinking about discipline and how to properly redefine it for the goals that I have in mind.

Anticipating

I… hm… am I anticipating anything? Oh. I know! I am anticipating Fall. I am anticipating the banishment of this wretchedly hot weather, and the sensation of being cold. I am anticipating being able to always wear a jacket and still want to wrap a blanket around my legs while I’m doing it.

I am anticipating summer being gone, because summer in California is super wretched.

Wishing

That my dogs would take a chill pill. There is someone out in my front yard, and they can’t handle the fact that someone is intruding upon their property. (By they, I mean that my weenier dog/border collie mix cannot fathom as to why someone would dare to challenge her presence… and my mini aussi will occasionally get up and bark with her, I think just to make her feel like she isn’t completely dense.

The funny thing is, the weenier collie is eating, so she’s barking with her mouth full. It sounds ridiculous.

Making Me Happy

My wrist braces. I recently found them both, and it’s helping a tremendous amount with my ability to write. I have so many issues when I don’t have them on – if I write too much, my wrists start to ache to the point that it’s agony to keep going (I do keep going sometimes, shame on me).

Also, and as always (get used to this answer). My husband is making me happy. He’s always making me happy, just by being him.


Thank you for tuning in! If you decide to pick up doing this, comment and let me know! Link me in your post! I’d love to come and check it out!

Until next time, guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!~

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Posted in book club, Creative WRiting

A Virtual Book Club

Book.jpegBecause sometimes, we’re just a little to anxious to actually get out to a real book club and talk to people.

I know, for a fact, that if I tried to go to an actual book club in this area… I’d probably never go to meetings. I’d never get out. I’d curl up in a corner and have some issues with my social anxiety that completely and utterly prevented me from even thinking about going and talking about a book.

So, I had this thought. Why not a virtual book club? Most of my writing/reading friends are online anyway. All of you fantastic people are online anyway. I want to have a book club, where we pick a book each month and discuss it.

So, I made a facebook page for it. I made a skype group for it… and we’re going to see how it goes. I think that it could be extremely fun, and I know that reading books with friends and getting the chance to discuss them afterwards could be a ton of fun! I’d have a book of the month post!

What do you guys think about a virtual book club? (And does anyone want to join up? :3?) Do you think it’s just as good as an in person one? Are you even interested in a book club? Tell me your thoughts and feels, because I’m curious!

Until next time, guys, keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Posted in author amanda mccormick, Creative WRiting

Weekly Currently

Currently Wednesday

I found a blog post over on Katyupperman’s blog, and I found that it was something that I really wanted to do! It’s a thing called Currently – it informs people of what you’re currently up to… and I thought that it would be a fun little update to do on Wednesdays!


Loving

Pokemon Go. Yep, that’s right. I am currently loving the Hell out of that game. It’s been really fun, because I have these compulsions to collect things – and to fully collect them. So I’m having one of each type of Pokemon (all versions of evolution included) in my bag, and it’s been really fun. More than that, though… I’m enjoying what it’s doing to my town. I don’t live in the best neighborhood, but I can honestly go out at midnight to one of the shadiest parts of town… and there are 100 other nerds there to make sure no one jumps us.

It’s pretty awesome.

Reading

I just finished reading Fight Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes and writing my Review for it. I’m in the process of selecting a new book to read. Of course, I am re-reading the Harry Potter novels, but I’m doing that a bit slower than usual, because I’m writing about each chapter as I go!

Watching

I am currently watching an anime called Parasyte, and it’s pretty damn amazing. I am really, really… alllllllll about fun, horror, violent animes. I’m awful, I know.

Listening To

xD Spotify. I guess if I’m listening to anything a lot, The Horror of our Love by Ludo. I’ve been flipping back to that baby quite frequently. It’s pretty amazing.

Thinking About

I’m thinking about Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m about 18,000 words in, I need to get another 1k for the day, but I’m not sure what project I want to work on. I may randomly pick a number and just go with it that way. My professionalism in my writing projects is astounding, no?

Anticipating

My Birthday! It’s this Sunday, and I’m really excited. I’m going to go and see a horror movie, get some delicious food, and just enjoy time with people who I care about… which makes me realize that I should probably get to 20,000 words today in Camp NaNo so that I don’t have to worry about it then.

Wishing

Oh, this is a hard one. I’m wishing that the world would just chill out. I’m wishing that people could stop being so hateful. I’m wishing that I could find the strength to try to publish my books. I’m wishing that a goddamn Eevee would show up so I could get a flareon. You know. Just things.

Making Me Happy

Josh. My husband. ❤ He’s always making me happy, so don’t be surprised if that’s the answer here a lot. He’s amazing and supportive, and he always encourages me to do more and push myself with my writing, and that’s exactly what I need. ❤


So, that was pretty fun! I think I’m going to make a habit of this every Wednesday, if only to keep a record of my moods and what I’ve enjoyed. So, thank you for tuning in! If you decide to pick up doing this, comment and let me know! Link me in your post! I’d love to come and check it out!

Until next time, guys! Keep reading and writing, and keep being awesome!~

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

 

Posted in Creative WRiting

Tag Thursday – Reading Habits Tag

Tag Thursday

So, I thought that it would be fun to start doing some tags, and since Thursday sounds so pretty with it… well, Thursday is the day that you guys will be seeing these. Sorry that the blog is coming so late in the day today – it is extremely hot in California, and I’ve been kind of half napping the heat away all day.

Anyway, I prowled around for a little while to find something that had to do with reading or writing, and I found a tag that I think is pretty fun. So! Welcome to the Reading Habits Tag.

I picked this up from neillereadsbooks who found it from TheBookJazz. I think that a writer is made up of their reading experience just as much as their writing experience, so I figured this would be a fun way to get to know me.


 

Question One: Do you have a certain place at home for reading? 

I often times find myself reading late in the night, when everyone else is asleep. That way, no one wants me to do anything, and no one is going to interrupt my reading time. So, usually, I will be reading in my bed – if not there, I’ll always take a book with me when I go into the bath. Those are the two usual suspects, as far as my reading location goes.

Question Two: Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Well, if I can’t find a bookmark, I’ll have a random piece of paper. Lately, however, I’ve been collecting bookmarks. Anytime my husband takes me to B&N and we get me a book, I’ll ask for a bookmark as well. I’m amassing a collection, and I love it.

Question Three: Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain amount of pages?

Ohhhhh… this depends on the book? If I’m reading it and not really enjoying it (I do that sometimes, because I hate not finishing a book), then I can stop whenever I want to. If I’m enjoying it though, I have that one more chapter mentality that I’m sure a lot of us have. You know, that one that ends up with you reading just ‘one more chapter’ until 6am?

Question Four: Do you eat or drink while reading?

I don’t eat while I read, because I can’t stand the thought of getting food on my books. But I will drink while I read. That’s safe, right?

Question Five: Multitasking? Music or TV while reading?

Oh, yes. I will certainly have some kind of sound on low while I’m reading. I prefer music, but if I can’t have that (because my husband is asleep beside me and would wake up if I tried), I will have a television show that I’ve seen a million times on in the background. I always need sound.

Question Six: One book at a time or several at once?

Okay, so… I only read one book at a time, but I have several that I’ve read the first few pages of so I can figure out which one I want to start. I have a tiny “TBR of my TBR” pile beside my bed (I pick about 3 books from my TBR to live there), and I’ve read the first few pages of all of those seeing which one I wanted to start on.

Question Seven: Reading at home or everywhere?

I used to carry a book around with me all of the time. There was nowhere that I went that I didn’t have one. Lately though, if we go somewhere, I know that I’m not going to be able to read while we’re there. Honestly though, having a book with me constantly is a habit that I want to get back into, so expect this answer to change!

Question Eight: Reading out loud or silently in your head?

I have never read my books aloud when I read them o-o people do this?

Question Nine:  Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

For a few books, I’ve gotten extremely eager and skipped a few pages, just to see what happened. But, for the most part? I like to just read it straight through. In one sitting. Without taking a break. Because I need to know what happens.

Question Ten: Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I do everything within my power to keep my books looking like new, every since the great fiasco of my books being improperly sent to me via the mail – which resulted me in being sent an empty, ripped box. My heart broke – I got new books. I treat them like gold.

Question Eleven: Do you write in your books?

No o-o I never have. I never will. If you write in my book while you borrow it, we aren’t friends ;-;


So, there you have it! This is the reading habits tag, and I encourage everyone on my list to do it! That’s right, I’m tagging you all without actually tagging you. Link me, so I’ll know that you did it! Below is a version of all of the questions clean, so you can copy/paste it straight to your blog!

Reading Habits

  1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
  2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
  3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?
  4. Do you eat or drink while reading?
  5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?
  6. One book at a time or several at once?
  7. Reading at home or everywhere?
  8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?
  9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
  10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
  11. Do you write in your books?

 

I hope that you enjoyed reading this, and that it’s inspired you to go ahead and get a tag or two done of your own. If you  have any tags that you participate in that are related to reading or writing, please let me be one of your tagged! I’m always looking for new tags to do every Thursday!

 

Until next Thursday for the tags!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Posted in Creative WRiting

Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 16

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Yesterday, I won Camp NaNoWriMo. It was nice, it felt pretty great. My word count is up over 31,000 words today, so I’m going to keep going until the month is over, to see how high I can crank it up. Even though I haven’t been posting a blog every day like I initially intended, I’ve been doing a good job of posting blogs for most of the day – more than that, I’ve been keeping up with my 1k a day, still. This is going to be the 4th month in a row, as long as I keep it up, that I’ve written at least 1k a day.

It’s a habit that I’d like to keep for the entire year.

Honestly, it’s a habit that I’d like to keep for the rest of my life.

I won’t talk about that today though, because I’ve certainly talked about it before, and it’s not time for my scheduled “writing schedule” rant. (heh, scheduled schedule). What I want to talk about today is the fact that you need to remember something very important about writing.

Make sure that you also take the time to read.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Stephen King

While I don’t think that time constraints are necessarily always the truth, I do believe what Stephen King says here – writing is developed in many ways. One is practice.

Practice.

Practice.

Practice.

The other is to study the tools of your trade. Take grammar courses, creative writing courses, literature courses. Read. Reading is so important to us as writers, because it’s how we study our craft. It’s how we see the world that we want to engross ourselves in. We learn new techniques, broaden our vocabulary. If it’s a bad book, we learn what we don’t want to do. The point is, you need to read. Don’t forget that, at least most of the time, it was a love for books and a finely crafted story that inspired you to be a writer to begin with.

Take time to read. Take time to study up on words. Take time to enrich yourself. Take time to enjoy yourself.

 

Until next time,

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

 

 

Posted in Creative WRiting, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, reading, Writing, Writing Space, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

Your Writing Area Is Your Best Friend (NaNo Tip #4)

So, I know that I’ve preached this particular lesson a million times… but with it coming up on NaNo, I’m gonna preach it once more. One of the most important things that you can do to help yourself get ready is to make sure that your writing space is in order. The last thing that you want is to find yourself with a disorganized area to write… you’ll spend the first day working out the clutter, and you won’t get that jump start on NaNo that you need to get.

That’s not what you want in life. You want to sit down to a freshly cleaned, decorated, organized, candy-stocked (yes, oh yes) writing area. This is going to get you into the place that you mentally need to be in. Trust me, if you have a place that you can go to that you dedicate solely to writing, it’s going to help you out. When you sit there, you will be in your writing mind frame. The important thing to this, though, is to make sure that you only use this area for creativity. More than that, once you sit down… do not get up, don’t browse the internet, don’t twitter or blog or anything… until you’ve gotten your word count for the day.

If you sit and focus, you’re going to turn this writing space into a real haven. It’s going to be where you go to meet your muse for sweet little rendezvous in the night when you can’t sleep. This is your sanctuary… treat it like it is. Here are a few things I do to spruce up my writing space:

  • Get a calendar that you can reuse. I have an erase-able calendar, and during NaNo I write my word goals on there. Seeing it checked off helps a lot.
  • Make sure all of the clutter and distractions are cleared away. No game systems and no trash.
  • Stock your area with notebooks, pens, paper, and anything else that you need for your creative process. You don’t want to have to go on a run for it, after all.
  • Have drinks/snacks on hand. I have a little shelf for them. When I’m in my zone, I don’t have to get up. I don’t have to do anything but go go go.
  • Decorate it with inspirational quotes, or a picture… something motivational. Anything to let you know that you’re in your safe writing place. Make it aesthetically pleasing to you.

Those are just a few tips, and I’m sure that you guys have a lot more! I’d love to hear them! Either way, make sure you’re ready for NaNo!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

Posted in out of the country, reading, Writing

Out of the Country Adventures

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Sorry for my absence, guys! I was recently out of the country in the Faroe Islands for my very first trip anywhere other than in the US. Between that, traveling, and jet lag, I’ve been a bit out of commission. I just wanted you to know that I am going to be coming back soon – I have a huge amount of book reviews that I have to post, as well as some writing things! I can’t wait to get back to you guys again!