Monday, July 11, 2016
Smoothies and Book Club - A Summer Update
Well I started this post before summer vacation started and look - it's almost the middle of July!
In Glister news, I've been waiting on getting my laptop fixed, the one with all my heavy-duty programs on. I wasn't able to use my USBs and for various reasons don't have internet on it, so transferring work to upload on this computer was impossible. It's apparently working okay now, so first up will be the new edition of Bronze in paperback and then I'll be looking into releasing it as e-book again. I have mixed feelings about this as book theft is such a problem, but with Copper coming out as soon as I can manage it, I really want that e-book out there. I'll also be doing Goodreads giveaways and might post chapters of both books at Wattpad and Smashwords. I'll keep you posted.
I'm staying close to home for most of the summer, doing curriculum planning for graduate credit as well as doing my best to finish the second Glister Journals novel, Copper. So I'm very busy. I admit that I've been stuck for a while on the last chapters, not because I don't know what happens at the end, but I'm not sure in what order those things happen, which affects what ties them together, which has made it difficult to focus on just writing. Earlier this year, there was a lot happening at work that adversely affected me and possible changes to my job on the horizon, both of which had me very stressed out for the last six months or so. Nothing of my doing, but I was deeply affected none the less. So that also made writing difficult to focus on. I'm not making excuses, just saying the way it is. I am making good progress now though, and all chapters are going out for final critiques.
I have no road trips planned this summer, which I'm a little sad about, but my poor little car has seen better days. I think I'm going to play it safe until I can buy a newer one. I plan on doing that next spring, if my car lasts that long without needing major repair. Poor thing's over ten years old and has over 200,000 miles - almost all mine! It's been a little trooper to be sure.
The one trip I made this summer was to see my son and his family in Iowa. I had mixed feelings about the trip, but I couldn't wait to see my son - I hadn't seen him in two years! I hugged him tightly twice a day to make up for lost time and try to stock up a bit for the future. And I hadn't seen my little grandson since last summer. I'm not sure whether he actually remembered me, but he seemed happy enough to have me around. But I'm not a fan of flying and Iowa and I have a little history together. They're not the best memories. The trip was nice though - just relaxing most of the time. They live in a very nice small north Iowa town where there's not much to do, but the time seemed to fly anyway.
I was interested in exploring SE Minnesota and loved the area around Rochester and especially Chatfield, but didn't have an opportunity to really investigate. Chatfield seems like exactly the kind of small town I'd like to eventually live near. Is anyone from around those areas? I'd love to hear your thoughts or experience concerning them. I'm thinking about retirement within the next ten years and certainly can't afford to retire here in the Bay Area. So I'm looking for alternatives. Somewhere I can buy a decent home in a quiet neighborhood with a low mortgage, maybe even a small farm - for horses, of course. It'll be the first (and probably last) home I've ever owned, so I'm rather looking forward to it!
The other things I'm working on (in the sense of actually employing them in daily life) are life hacks. It seems like most things should be easier now at my age, but I still struggle with a lot of things, many because I'm autistic, but also just because I'm me! My two favorite discoveries so far this summer are making my own smoothies, which I'll mention again in a future post, and joining a book club, which I've never done before. I have a slow processing speed for some things, including reading, and know I can't keep up with most other people, but thought I'd give it a go for the summer weeks.
Is anyone else in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Club? I've been following her book posts for a few years. This is her first club (I think), and I've really been enjoying it. She chose five books for the summer weeks that I'd never heard of and probably never would have read otherwise. Since I have a very eclectic taste in books, it's been a real treat. Each book's reading time is culminated with a webinar and live feed, but conversation is ongoing on a Facebook group. The first webinar was really interesting. So far we've read One In A Million Boy and The Nest, both of which I enjoyed for different reasons. We're reading Everyone Brave Is Forgiven right now, which I'm not sold on yet. It's hanging in the balance. I may ditch it and sneak in a book of my own choice until we're on to the next one.
I LOVE this book. It's difficult to describe and not like anything I've read before, but it's beautifully written with many quote-worthy passages and very memorable characters. I admit I got behind in reading this one and still need to finish it, but it's definitely one to enjoy the journey, not race to the end, so I know I'll be able to pick it back up and finish at my leisure.
Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.
This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.
This one really surprised me. From the description (which I didn't read before starting) and the conversation of others in the club, I didn't think I would like this at all. Indeed, the characters are not very likable, but they are certainly very human and it's a fascinating study. It was an extremely easy read and I finished way before the deadline. Woot!
I'll have a giveaway for these books later. What are your favorite reads so far this summer?
Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze
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The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller or purchase now at Amazon.com
Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2016 to B B Shepherd.