Tag: 2017

What I Read in 2017 and Goals for 2018

What I Read in 2017 and Goals for 2018

At the beginning of the year I made a Goodreads pledge to read 25 books in 2017. I crushed my goal this year with the completion of Night by Elie Wiesel on November 10th. In total, the average book I read was 423.07 pages long, with a total page count of 12,269 pages in 2017!

Linked to their appropriate Goodreads pages, here are the 29 books I completed in 2017 in chronological order.

  1. Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
  2. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  3. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  4. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  5. Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo
  6. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
  7. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  8. Our Numbered Days by Neil Hilborn
  9. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  10. Sekret Machines: Chasing Shadows by Tom Delonge
  11. The Clocks by Agatha Christie
  12. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  13. Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
  14. Company Town by Madeline Ashby 
  15. Song of Susannah by Stephen King
  16. The Dark Tower by Stephen King
  17. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  18. It by Stephen King
  19. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  20. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  21. Hell House by Richard Matheson
  22. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  23. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  24. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  25. Night by Elie Wiesel
  26. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  27. Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
  28. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
  29. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Looking back on all the books I finished this year I’m going to call this The Year of Stephen King. On January 3rd I posted a few specific books I wanted to finish, and many of them were his. Six of them, in fact. I read the remainder of the Dark Tower series, and then I read It and Sleeping Beauties as well. So I guess you could say this wasn’t just the year of Stephen King, but the year of long Stephen King.

This year introduced me to new-to-me authors I’d wanted to read for a while, like Agatha Christie and Neil Gaiman, and authors I’d come across serendipitously like Josh Malerman, whose book Bird Box is actually the one I’m naming my favorite of the year.

Bird Box took me by surprise. Fast paced and incredibly unique, it has a sort of survival horror post-apocalyptic vibe that had the perfect balance for me. While most books rely on visual description to set the story, this one has characters who go through life blindfolded so the description comes from auditory and physical description. This lends itself to being perfect for staging the fear of the unknown, which is crucial for horror. I had so much fun with this book and look forward to more from Josh Malerman.

Goals For 2018

Since I beat my goal this year, I’m setting it a little higher for 2018. Not by much, mind you, but 30 books. As for what books I’ll be reading, I want to focus more on classics. I have a lot of beautiful leather bound books featuring Ernest Hemingway, Jules Verne, H.P. Lovecraft, H.G. Wells, William Shakespeare, Arthur Conan Doyle, and others. I want to put a dent in them this year. I also want to focus some of my attention on longer books this year, like 700+ pages. House of Leaves is on my current TBR list, and Underworld by Don DeLillo has been on that list for a while. I love to read, and I look forward to all that 2018 has coming.

Another Novel Cometh

Another Novel Cometh

With my novel, Ravenscrag, still in the desperate throes of editing, this writer is in need of a fresh start; a new idea. National Novel Writing Month is just around the corner, and I’ve decided to set aside my work on Ravenscrag and start a new novel. I need a chance of literary scenery and this should do the trick nicely.

For those of you who aren’t aware, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it is usually abbreviated, is an annual competition where the goal is to write a novel within the month of November. That’s 50,000 words minimum, which breaks down to 1,667 words per day. If you complete your 50,000 words on time, you win! It was during November of last year that I wrote Ravenscrag (why yes I have been really slow with the editing, thank you for noticing) and I had a blast doing it. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as getting to the end and realizing you wrote a book in a month.

I’m doing things a little differently this year. I am a “pantser” to my core, which means I tend to write without an outline and just see where the story takes me. This year, I am going to try my hand at this whole planning thing and see how it affects the coming together of my novel. Being new to planning my writing, I found a great online workshop with daily exercises and assignments that should help me get the skeleton of my story in shape, so that come November 1st, I can start throwing meat on the bones.

I’ll post more information on the novel I’ll be writing as I flesh it out my idea a little bit. All I can say for now is that it’s called Suicide House, and it will be a psychological/supernatural horror. Stay tuned for more Nano prep in the coming weeks.

To New Beginnings in 2017

To New Beginnings in 2017

What better time to set some new goals than at the beginning of the year? Sure, it’s corny and most New Year’s Resolutions fall by the wayside 15 seconds into the year, but I have a lot in the works and I think laying out a plan for them is helpful.

Editing My NovelRavenscrag is the name of the novel I completed for NaNoWriMo 2016. It’s a really cool story (at least I think so) but it needs a lot of work before it’s ready to be read. Writing quickly with your inner editor turned off is great for getting the words out, but they are far from perfect. Beginning in January, I’m giving myself 3 months to edit into a second draft. I don’t think I’ll need the full 3 months, but who knows? After that, I’ll be looking for beta readers to read it and give me some helpful feedback.

Another Novel? – I want to start another novel in 2017. I have no idea what it will be about yet, but I have a whole notebook filled with inspired little scribbles that I’ve been marking down this past year and some of them are just begging to be fleshed out.

Eating Healthier – The most cliché resolution of all, but I really want to stick with it this year for a healthier body and mind.

Consistent Meditation – I want to bring consistency to my meditation practice this year, meaning daily practice. I’m really wanting to make some progress in this area as things have been relatively stalled out for quite some time.

Spend Less Time on Social Media – This is one of the biggest time sucks for me. I spend too much time on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit. I find myself wound up in petty arguments or wasting hours just consuming meaningless drivel. In 2016 I started to spend more time reading and less time online, and this year I would like to continue that trend.

Regular Blogging – I missed writing regularly. A lot. My lack of regularly emptying my thoughts onto page contributed to the relapse in my mental illness last year. This year I’m bringing back regular content and making it a priority to post… dare I say daily? If not, then pretty close to it I think.