Tag Archives: carrie jones

Me, the Slacker?

You’ve probably noticed I’ve failed to make an April: In Review post yet and it’s already the 12th of May…. Yeah, I’ll cover that in this post first (quickly).

        Nothing to report here, April was useless.        

Okay, no, I’m kidding. I mean I don’t have a ton of things to report, but I have a few things to reflect on. Like…

I managed to read two books, neither of which were the completion of those two books I started back in February. (Who knows when I’ll ever finish them?) You can see what I thought about the two books I did read though by clicking the title: Infamous (Chronicles of Nick, Book 3) by Sherrilyn Kenyon & The Walking Dead (Book 1 (Vol. 1-2) by Robert Kirkman 

With my birthday, Easter, and some beautiful Spring weather all going down in April, I put my camera to use more than usual and tested my photography skills on more than just Gideon for a change (though there are some adorable ones of him, too). Rather than post an excess of “favorite” pictures that will likely slow down your feed, I’ll post one from each of the albums and if you want to see more, feel free to venture to the albums by clicking each of the pictures below. 

‘A Mother-Son Bond through the Glass’
Rachel & Gideon, Easter 2012


Me in the Smithsonian Gardens, Washington DC
(Technically Heath took this, but I set up the shot)


Mariner Point Park


Best of Instagram
(Oh, yeah, I’m on Instagram now. Follow me @swhisted)

Music in April was glorious as usual. It’s one of the constants in my life that never lets me down.

Arctic Monkeys released a new track….

“Electricity”

I fell hook, line, and sinker for Four Year Strong and Circa Survive.

“Falling on You”

“Semi Constructive Criticism” 

Saosin and letlive. demanded my ears attention and are still screaming, “Play Me NOW!” despite my attempts to listen to the new loot Heather () sent me for my birthday.

“Sleepers”

“Homeless Jazz”

And I checked out a number of new (to me) stuff by bands like Cage the Elephant, Arcade Fire, and Sleeping with Sirens. (Clicking those names will take you to a song, FYI.)

The oddest song that found itself on repeat in April had to be this, though:

Sleigh Bells – “Comeback Kid”

As for writing (notice how I saved that one for last?), well it didn’t happen. At ALL. And while I’ll admit to it bothering me greatly (like self-doubt is at an all-time high), I realized that it’s Spring, and while I’d love to deny a truth I settled on last year, it means I probably won’t write anything of value or substance until Fall comes around again. The idea of this makes me feel a little insane. If you are a writer, you know what it’s like to have words trapped inside of you with no way of escaping. If you’re not, I probably just sound like a crazy person, but whatever. I really hope that I can somehow break this seasonal writer curse I seem to have placed on me, but my outlook is pretty grim.

Anyway, the real purpose of this post was to tell you what I’ve been up too because it’s been a while since I did a ‘general life’ post.

Last week I had an HBO marathon of the entire series of Bored to Death and The Game of Thrones. Bored to Death was a terribly hilarious series that was canceled too soon in my opinion. Ted Danson is a riot in it. And I’ve already seen most of Season 1 of The Game of Thrones, but I needed a refresher course before I finished what I’d missed. That show is crazy good. I’m glad I can finally keep up with it instead of having all of Twitter and Tumblr spoil it for me. I plan to finally catch up on True Blood next, as the new season begins in June and I’d like the net to not ruin it for me by still being behind.

I’ve also been watching a lot of hockey. I always keep up with the Washington Caps (my team, duh), but since they’d made it into the playoffs, I was paying even more attention than usual. Sadly, they played their last playoff game tonight. I can’t pretend I’m not disappointed, but I can at least conclude that 3rd string goalie, Braden Holtby, is amazing in the way that Olaf Kolzig was back when I first got into hockey and this thrills me. The caps would be foolish to let his talent remain in 3rd string standings come next season.

Today I just finished reading the funniest book I’ve ever read, and it’s a memoir which is not my typical read, so I’m delighted to have enjoyed it the way I did. I’m not lying when I say I’ve literally laughed out loud, to the point of tears, every couple of pages in this book. It is full of comedic value, even at times when you wouldn’t expect there to be anything funny. You should totally check it out. 

“Let’s Pretend this Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)” by Jenny Lawson
(otherwise known as The Bloggess)

Immediately after I started reading Carrie Jones’ ENDURE (the final NEED book) and am already half way through it. I’ll likely finish it tomorrow because it’s so great you just can’t put it down, but I’m sure I’ll regret speeding through the last book so quickly because it’s always sad saying goodbye to a great series.

My weight loss effort has been heavier than ever on my mind. In fact, I’ve become a bit obsessive about it, but like all other things in my life that I let my OCD take over, I can’t see this being a bad thing because it’s keeping me on track more than I’ve been in the past. I’ve been finding all of these people who are as big as me or even bigger who have made remarkable progress – the right way – and it inspires me greatly. If they can do it, there is no reason I can’t believe I can’t do the same. Still, the time it will take can be frustrating. There are days when I feel like I must have made a great progress and the scale has nothing positive to say to me. This can be discouraging, but overall I know I’m making healthier choices and it’s doing something really cool to my mentality. I hope I really keep it up this time. I’d love to post before and after picture with major evidence of my journey.

And, so, that’s pretty much it. My life is so exciting, right? (That’s sarcasm, obviously.) What have all of YOU been up to these days? Please sound off in the comments!

Peace – Sarah

P.S. I know I'm behind on LJ comments. I plan to work on that this week, so sorry in advance if your blog gets a ton of late love.

———————

2011 In Review: Books

Like so many of my goals this year, I even failed at meeting my reading goal. The only true thing I accomplished this year in regards to books was reducing the amount I acquired. Reading requires time and sadly time is something I had very little of this year. Also, I’m not a fan of reading a book that takes me a month of more to complete. If I can’t start and finish it in a week’s time (which is still pushing it honestly) then there’s no point in starting it at all for me.

However, despite not meeting my goal for the year, I did read quite a few awesome books. The list below reflects the order in which I’d rate them, the first being the best and the last being the worst (although none of them were actually horrible reads – picking a favorite was actually hard). At some point in the middle of the year I started writing mini reviews for all the books I was reading via GoodReads so if there is a review available for the book, I’ve made the title a link to my GoodReads page. Check them out, you might find a book worth reading. Feel free to ask me about any of the books that don’t have reviews. I’d be more than happy to share why I did or didn’t love it!

Books Read in 2011

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

Rampant (Killer Unicorns, Book 1) by Diana Peterfreund

Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, Book 2) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

The Mortal Instruments Series (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, & City of Fallen Angels) by Cassandra Clare

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Daughters of the Moon Vol. 1 & 2 (Goddess of the Night, Into the Cold Fire, Night Shade, The Secret Scroll, The Sacrifice, & The Lost One) by Lynne Ewing

Forever (Wolves at Mercy Falls, Book 3) by Maggie Stiefvater

Demonglass (Hex Hall, Book 2) by Rachel Hawkins

Trapped by Michael Northrop

Fins Series (Forgive my Fins, Fins are Forever) by Tera Lynn Childs

Other Series (Other, Bloodborn) by Karen Kincy

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Beastly by Alex Finn

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Retribution (Dark-Hunter, Book 20) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Passion (Fallen Series, Book 3) by Lauren Kate

Jenna & Jonah’s Fauxmance by Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Indigo Blues by Danielle Joseph

Miscellaneous Other

For the Love of Gods by H.R. Holden (Unpublished)

Dark-Hunter Vol. 4 by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Manga)

School Bites Vol. 1 & 2 by Holly G! (Manga)

Archie’s Christmas Stocking (Comic book)

Night Embrace (Dark-Hunter, Book 3) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Re-read)

Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, Book 1) by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Re-read)

What did your reading list look like in 2011?

—————–

Last Book Purchases of 2011

I think back and still can’t believe the level of restraint I’ve shown in 2011 when it came to buying books in comparison to my complete inability to not splurge monthly in 2010. This year was all about pre-orders of the absolute necessities (books in series I’ve already read and books by my favorite authors). Surprisingly, I managed to keep that number relatively low.

 
The books pictured (and listed below) are the books I had to have between August and December. 10 books is the lowest amount in a 4 month span all year (see previous book posts #1 and #2). Sadly, because of a dry reading spell and NanoWrimo, I have only read 2 of these 10 books so far: Bloodborn and After Obsession. But I do hope to knock out at least one more before the years end. I’m leaning towards Sweetly or Vanish, as I’ve been really looking forward to both and they seem relatively shorter in comparison to the others, something that would feel easier to blow through quickly (as time is so limited these days).
 

The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, Book 2) by Pittacus Lore
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
Vanish (Firelight, Book 2) by Sophie Jordan
After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven Wedel
Bloodborn (Other, Book 2) by Karen Kincy
Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, Book 3) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
The Guardian (Dream-Hunter, Book 5) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices, Book 2) by Cassandra Clare

 
What books have you fallen weak to buying lately?

—————————-

I call her “Candi”

Remember last week when I was all “Woe Is Me” blah, blah, blah? Well, I wouldn’t say I’m completely in a better place, but some of my complaints have been resolved which already makes this week better than last.

Since the number one issue was regarding concerts and that complaint will never be resolved we’ll just skip it altogether and start with my number two complaint: The dying machine known as my old truck. “Old” now because….

I Got a New One! *SQUEE*

It’s a 2009 Ford Escape and the color is called Sangria, but it looks more like a shimmery candy apple in person so I’ve named her “Candi.” I have to admit for as troubled as I was over having to get a new vehicle at all and how stressed having an additional car payment will make me, I’m rather in-love with her. I can’t believe she’s actually mine, all shiny and new and perfect!

Speaking of… Candi (though this time a character with this name from Candi Comics by Starlight X Hodge) sort of helped me read again. Maybe not entirely, but I did read the entire webcomic last week from start to current (years’ worth of art and fun) alongside two other real books. I had started reading Bloodborn (Other, Book 2) by Karen Kincy a while ago and was finally able to finish that. Then I started and finished reading After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven Wedel. My thoughts on both of these books can be read on my Goodreads page. I’m currently reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. So I guess my “I don’t read anymore” mentality is over. YAY!

And lastly, writing… the thought that never leaves my brain. I’m not saying I’ve suddenly produced something magnificent (because I definitely haven’t), but I have realized something that was brought to my attention last year by a friend and I pretended couldn’t be true. If this year has proven anything, it’s that they were right. I am a seasonal writer. Meaning, I might produce something here and there during summer or spring, but I get the writing bug in fall and winter and this is when I’m most apt to complete something of value. Shoot, just even writing blogs is easier during these months. I have no idea why, so don’t bother asking, but after some evaluation of the facts, I’m pretty positive this is the case. So with that being said, I’m giving a lot of thought to NanoWrimo this year. I’ve never participated before, but maybe it’d be the perfect thing for me to officially launch myself back into writing for the season I write the best in. I have plenty of potential story ideas to use… now just to pick which one feels like I might be able to pump out 50K words for it in 30 days…. Hmmmm.

Until Next Time – Sarah

————————–

Happy Again

All is right in my world again…

My replacement copy of THE REPLACEMENT arrived and I finished it last night. It was awesome! I expected it to be given how much I love Brenna’s short stories and memories of the past, but it was so good that I really didn’t want it to end. I know she’s already submitted a second book, but does anyone know if it’s a sequel to this or is Mackie’s story just over? I would really love to read more. He was a seriously lovable character (whether he thought so or not) and he has an amazing group of friends surrounding him. Even his family was quality people.

While I waited for that book to arrive though, I started & finished BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS (the second book in the CASTER CHRONICLES). Again, I was not surprised by how much I loved this book. I loved Ethan in the first book and loved him even more in the second. And this one had so many twists and so much adventure I couldn’t get enough of it. I’m glad there will be 4 books in this series, but I hate having to wait for their release. I hope whenever they get around to making these into movies that they don’t butcher the stories. They are so awesomely written.

Question for LJ friends: Are there any books you’d recommend about or involving Christmas for me to read in December? I know what books I intend on reading next month, but I only have one slated for December so far (ENTICE by Carrie Jones), which will not involve Christmas at all. But I love Christmas and I’d like to read a Christmas themed book come December to keep my spirits high. Suggestions would rock!

So now that I’ve fulfilled my monthly goal reading wise and there aren’t too many other “scary” or “creepy” reads in my possession I think I’m going to dedicate the rest of the month to working on my writing goal. It feels like forever since I put a decent dent into my WIP and since the bulk of my story takes place in fall and it’s so wonderfully fall outside now I should really use it to my advantage.

I’m having a slight problem with my book though. I’ve been stuck on these two in between chapters for what feels like forever now and I think today (after re-reading almost everything I’ve already written) I realized it’s because during this re-write I tried to speed things up and reduce the word count and in doing so I lost the room I once had to really show the growth and depth of Teagan and Bryce’s friendship (which for the story is really important for Teagan in particular because she’s never had friends). I don’t want to lose this aspect of their character building, but before it took so long to cover and I’m so aware of the word count now that I don’t want it to drag on. Still, I don’t think it can just be summarized and have the same affect as it was meant to. I have to include a little more, but I’m undecided on how much more and how to really cover it all so the reader grasps how influential it is to Teagan. I hope I figure something out soon.

Peace – Sarah

—————

Somebody Stop Me!

For I am a book buying whore. There, I said it. The urge to buy books is always present, but man it feels like I should be growing stronger against the desire, not weaker. And I am definitely weaker. I had told myself I was allowed to buy 3 books this month. Then I had told myself I could go ahead and buy Septembers books as well. And well, then I just went completely overboard.

I need help. Seriously.

So, here’s what I’ve bought….


Dark-Hunter Books

My First Manga

Pre-Orders

See, serious problem, right? I’ve already received and read 3 of those 14 books, all of which I’m fighting the urge to re-read while I wait for the others to arrive. And you know I still have 3 books to read from my book buying last month, but for some reason I can’t draw myself to them at the moment because I want all of these so bad.

::Sigh:: Seeing them all laid out like this makes it really real that I actually bought this many books this month and now I’m feeling a little guilty. Maybe that will help keep me away from going purchase crazy again for a while.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot one, but at least I didn’t buy this one. Mom did. See, she enables me.

Oh, books… hurry and get here please.

Peace – Sarah

————-

They’re SOOO Pretty

I must show off the beautiful new additions to my book collection. They weren’t even supposed to arrive until Friday, but they are all here early!!! I realize this is far more than I said I was allowed to buy this month and for that I will fail that goal come the 7th of August, but maybe if I read more than I anticipated in my goals I can somehow justify them balancing each other out?

I wanted to take a picture of how pretty all of their covers were, but my camera mixed with the poor daylight coming through the window wasn’t cooperating very well so this is them, my new pretties. 😉 I seriously just smile looking at them. I know, so nerdy.

I REALLY need a bookshelf soon, these little piles every month are really starting to add up. They need a proper home!

Alright, now to fight the urge to continue reading “Linger” since I’m scheduled to be writing tonight. Let’s hope I succeed!

Peace – Sarah

————-

Frivolous Spending

If I didn’t love getting mail so much and didn’t equally love getting new books consistently I wouldn’t have a problem. But the fact remains that I do. It’s as simple as that. Books have such a hold on me that even just seeing pictures of other people’s bookshelves gets me excited. (How ridiculous is that, right?)

Hi, my name is Sarah and I am a bookaholic.

That being said let me share my latest book purchases with you. Initially “Hex Hall” by Rachel Hawkins was waiting in my shopping cart, but it is so good that I know I won’t be able to stop reading the library copy I currently have in my position, therefore the need to own it right this minute is not necessary (it can wait for a little while). So I swapped it out for something else and purchased the following books last night on Amazon.


The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

Description from Amazon: He holds the secret that can end the world. The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty. The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects — the Book of Abraham the Mage. It’s the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That’s exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

P.S. Sophie and Josh Newman are 15 year old twins… you would think the description would say that. Also this is book one of six, four of which are already out.


Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Description from Amazon: What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.


Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Description from Amazon: Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible. And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside- she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison, and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don’t realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know.

P.S. The sequel to this book is entitled, “Sapphique” and is scheduled to be released December 28, 2010


Need by Carrie Jones

Description from Amazon: Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal. Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

And lastly because I’m fairly paranoid about the end of times and/or convinced troubled times may be fast approaching our country due to the current administration I’ve decided it’s important to educate myself on survival techniques. The first book I’ve purchased is “Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook: Everything you need to know to keep your family safe in a crisis.” I figure that even if it’s really nothing more than paranoia it can’t help to learn a thing or two about these sorts of things. Maybe they will be useful to me in writing one day (I do have that plot bunny called “Post Hope” about the end of the US from a teenagers POV so…)

Also arriving this week because the release date has changed and I pre-ordered it months ago, Maggie Stiefvater’s “Linger” which I’ve already talked about HERE.

In conclusion I have to add how badly I want to read the “Percy Jackson & The Olympians” series now after seeing “The Lightening Thief” last night. I already had the box set in my wish list, but it’s rather expensive and will have to wait to be purchased until a holiday like Christmas or my birthday so it will be a while. Anyway the movie was fantastic, for anyone interested in knowing.

Peace – Sarah

—————