Beyond the Blog | The Dog Days of August

aug 23 2015

L-R: weekend writing setup, afternoon reading, skinny margarita

happening // We’re enjoying a blazing hot weekend in Arizona by staying inside.

writing // Working on the manuscript and some shorter pieces for submission.

reading // I finished two audiobooks: The Years of Rice and Salt, which really dragged (for me) and The Night Sister, which I enjoyed but wasn’t my fav McMahon book. I also read Broken Grace, which I’ll review in more detail later this week.

blogging // Book reviews and book acquisitions.

exploring // Upcoming September releases.

curating // Gender Studies reads!

promoting // ICYMI: a post about uncomfortable reads.

one more thing // Great post by Chuck Wendig about the legacy of the Sad/Rabid Puppies (NSFW: language).

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Beyond the Blog | Overcaffeinated & Underplayed

aug 16 2015

L-R: new phone case, green tea mochi, AZ sunset

happening // It’s been a productive writing day. I caught up on a couple of 1:1000 pieces and then shifted over to the manuscript, which has been neglected of late. Scott and I had an early lunch and watched a documentary about World War II.

writing // I worked on the shorter pieces throughout the week, but my attention is on the manuscript today.

reading // I finished one book this week, Laura Lippman’s Life Sentences. The audiobook was a nice listen to break up the multi-century epic The Years of Rice and Salt. I had to change it up when I hit the most recent lull, which has mercifully passed.

blogging // My delayed post about difficult/challenging reads, as well as a reading survey post and perhaps some reviews!

exploring // Wordpress features. I’ve also been neglecting the aesthetics/function of the blog, and it’s time for some tweaking.

curating // Gender Studies books! Long-time readers may recall I double-majored in History and Gender Studies. I’ve found myself yearning for more specificity and a deeper exploration of feminist theories and themes. I also felt that my academic exploration of intersectionality was limited, with the notable exception of Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands.

promoting // Serial Box, a new service for serial fiction. It’s a literary collaboration that aims to produce a 10-16 episode narrative (or “season”). The first offering is Bookburners, which sounds phenomenal: Magic is real, and hungry—trapped in ancient texts and artifacts, only a few who discover it survive to fight back. Detective Sal Brooks is a survivor. Her brother wasn’t so lucky. Freshly awake to just what dangerous are lurking, she joins a Vatican-backed black-ops anti-magic squad—but the demons she’s hunting may be hunting her in turn.

one more thing // It’s been three months since Scott and I got married! Man, time flies.

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Beyond the Blog | Without Responsibilities

aug 10 2015

happening // Sometimes you need a weekend where you just decompress. The last two days were bliss. Scott and I saw two movies, cooked yummy food (mostly Scott; I was happy to eat it, though!), and I read and wrote.

writing // I’ve had a lot of different ideas running through my head, so I’ve been working on different short story pieces. It’s been such a change of pace to have too many ideas for short stories. I’ve even started 1:1000 pieces and had to discard them because the story eclipses the flash fiction format.

reading // I am finally ahead of my Goodreads reading challenge goal! I finished Uprooted (ebook), which I can’t recommend enough for fans of fantasy. Cassie also recommended Columbine (print); I’ll dedicate a full post to my thoughts later this week, but wow. It’s been a while since I carried a book around the house all weekend. This is one of the most difficult books I’ve ever read, but it’s worth it.

blogging // A post about writing and another post about difficult/challenging reads.

exploring // Writing challenges, competitions, and literary magazines.

curating // Dave Cullen’s writing advice.

promoting // This piece about the books we discuss and why. It’s always interesting to me about why certain books resonate with readers over others.

one more thing // I wrote a brief travel piece on hi.co about Matsumoto! Check it out.

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Beyond the Blog | 24 Hours on the West Coast

august 2

happening // Scott and I spent a fun twenty-four hours in San Diego this weekend! We drove up yesterday morning and got back just before dinner. We had such a blast and the drive was gorgeous (check out some of the photos over on Instagram); I can’t wait for another visit to this fun city.

writing // A handful of pieces here and there that are in their embryonic stages.

reading // Finished: The Girl on the Train (audio); Armada (hardback); Black Chalk (galley). In progress: The Years of Rice and Salt (audio); Uprooted (ebook); The Marriage of Opposites (galley).

blogging // I’m going to have a review for The Marriage of Opposites (out on Tuesday) posted, as well as a preview of August books.

exploring // Upcoming releases.

curating // Endless blue sky moments and scrubby-brushed landscapes.

promoting // This funny HP-themed skit featuring Simon Pegg, one of my all-time favorites.

one more thing // My little book nook is still in progress (I need a table), but it’s cozy enough and does the trick for now. It’s pictured in the center square.

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Beyond the Blog | Vinyl Records & Iced Green Tea

july26

happening // Unlike last week, this weekend has been less busy and more lazy, disconnected. Productive, certainly, but our projects have been more mental than physical. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, a lot of writing. It’s been a good stretch of days.

writing // My last edits for my 1:1000 were wrapped up early in the week, and it went live on Thursday. Give ‘er a read! I also finished the first solid, completed draft of Southwestern horror piece. That was something of a surprise, since I wasn’t feel all that confident in my last BTB post. However, I’ve made a lot of progress – the first draft wrapped on Thursday night and I got some feedback just to see if my intuition was right. I spent the bulk of the morning on revisions, and now it’s ballooned to exceed the word count for the original submission I intended…so, we’ll see what comes of it. I don’t think I can pare it down to the word count without significantly sacrificing story.

reading // Finished Martha Southgate’s The Fall of Rome, and the audiobook for Wolf Winter this week. Wolf Winter started strong, but it tapered off to the point where I just wanted it to end. I’ve read good reviews, so I think it may have been a timing thing. I’ve been reading a lot of SFF this year, and I listened to it as a break to avoid genre burnout. In retrospect, perhaps not the best idea. I also finished Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, which is a short, biting book.

blogging // I haven’t even thought about what I’ll blog about this week. But, if you missed it: this week I posted about Go Set a Watchman, not being able to do every little thing I want, and my latest 1:1000 piece.

exploring // Places I can submit my behemoth of a short story.

curating // Stolen moments to scratch out words of prose.

promoting // A great essay about women writing the apocalypse.

one more thing // I’m creating a little book nook in our bedroom and it’s almost done. Can’t wait to curl up there when I come home from work!

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Beyond the Blog | A Day Late

july20

happening // It was a busy weekend at the J + H Hacienda. So busy that when I went to write this post Sunday, I discovered it was 9 PM and I decided to go to bed rather than stay up. Lame? Maybe, but if I’m gonna work out, it’s going to be before work and at least 30 minutes. With my commute and 7-4 schedule, that means I’m up by 4:15 AM at the latest. The sacrifices we make for wellness, y’all.

writing // I feel like I’m about to hit an impasse with my Southwestern horror piece. My next 1:1000 piece will be up Thursday, so it’s with our editors. Longer pieces took a slight backseat this week. That’s the writing life; always juggling creativity and inspiration with time.

reading // Even though I’ve been reading like a madwoman, I’m still behind on my Goodreads goal for the year! It doesn’t help that I’m deep into several books and only finished one last week: Go Set a Watchman. Expect a fuller post up tomorrow! I’m also almost done with Martha Southgate’s The Fall of Rome, and the audiobook for Wolf Winter.

blogging // Thoughts on Go Set a Watchman. Being a bookish bride. The morning after book club. My July piece for 1:1000.

exploring // West coast travel spots! We have a mind to take a couple weekend trips in the next few months.

curating // I kind of screwed up my NetGalley stats by downloading a ton of ARCs with the expectation of reading them during wedding week and our honeymoon. Now I’m trying to rebuild my book cred one sample and review at a time. Let sigh.

promoting // My first Japan travel post went up on hi.co last week. I plan to post one each week until I’ve exhausted all the cities we visited.

one more thing // We saw Trainwreck this weekend and were both disappointed. It suffered from a lack of humor, with the exception of Lebron James. Yes, LEBRON JAMES  has the best comedic timing in a movie helmed by the top female comedian on TV. Eeesh.

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Beyond the Blog | Unseasonably Cool July

july12

happening // I’ve been catching up on some blog stuff this morning, which means I’ve got a show I’ve already seen on in the background (Nip/Tuck) and an afternoon on non-screen activities planned.

writing // My goal for this week is 750 words every day, which I wrapped up already this morning on the manuscript. I didn’t do a ton of writing last week – busy, exhausting work week – but I caught up on 1:1000 editing and started fleshing out my July piece.

reading // I finished two good audiobooks this week: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab and one of my Audible picks, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I preferred Setterfield’s, a rich, immersive listen that had me hooked. I also finished Mother of Eden, and will post a longer review later this week.

blogging // The Mother of Eden review, a writing post, and travel!

exploring // Interior design and DIY blogs for office renovation/redecoration inspiration. Say that last part five times fast.

curating // Audiobooks! I’ve been purchasing each month with my credits, but negligent in downloading to my pone. Now I have about a dozen books to breeze through.

promoting // Apparently this is the summer to visit Phoenix. It hasn’t been over 110+ degrees in a while, which is the norm this time of year (at least since I’ve been here!). It was actually hotter in Charlotte than Phoenix yesterday!

one more thing // We got our wedding photos and I can’t stop looking at them.

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