Reading Challenge

#Armedwithabingo – What I’ve read so far…

So I just discovered this bingo, and I’ve added it to the reading challenges I’m doing this year. It lasts the entire year, and you get a personalized bingo card. It’s hosted by Kristi and Ariel, and you can find out all the details here.  The cool thing about this challenge is that it fits right in with any other challenges you might be doing.

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So here’s what I’ve read so far:

Poetry collection – Ink Knows No Borders

Book in the middle of a series – Blizzard of New Moon (Magic Treehouse Series) by Mary Pope Osbourne

Book published in the last decade – A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahareh Mafi

A YA novel – Heart of the Moors by Holly Black

A memoir – Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Friendship/family – Drama by Reina Telgemeier

Fantasy – Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Bestseller – The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Meant to read last year – Final Girls by Riley Sager

Nonfiction – You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time by Patricia Marx

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Do you have any suggestions for any of the prompts? Let me know in the comments.

Also, if you haven’t seen the Little Women challenge and giveaway I’m doing yet, you can check that out here.

author mentor match

Author Mentor Match – #AMMConnect

 

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I recently discovered this great program called Author Mentor Match. It gives aspiring authors the chance to pair up with a more accomplished writer who will help them improve their writing. You can find out more about it here. I’ve really enjoyed connecting with other writers through #AMMParty, and wanted to share a little about me and my writing. So here’s my #AMMconnect post! 🙂

About Me:

I’m a writer, an editor, and an educator. I read mostly YA fantasy and mystery, but also enjoy memoirs,  some contemporary, and the classics. My favorite writers include: Louisa May Alcott, Charlotte Bronte, Colleen Oakes, Marissa Meyer, Kerri Maniscalco, Riley Sager, and C.J. Redwine. Besides reading and writing, I enjoy spending time with my husband and fur baby, traveling by train, ice skating, and binge watching my favorite TV shows.

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My Writing:

I write YA fantasy with a fairytale twist. I’ve always loved fairytales and it seems to show up in my writing one way or another. I grew up with a grandfather who told stories that captivated all of us grandkids, parents who read to me daily, and younger siblings who were always eager to listen to whatever crazy stories I made up. I write because I love to tell stories, and I love to give people a chance to escape to another world  even if it’s just for a little while. My current WIP is a Bluebeard retelling with a Victorian Gothic vibe.

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Why I’d Be a Great Mentee:

I’d be a great mentee because I’m eager to learn how to make my writing stronger. I’ve written several full manuscripts, but this current one is one of my best so far. I’d love to get some advice on how to take it to the next level. I can accept constructive criticism, and would rather hear honest advice than false praise. I’m not afraid of hard work, and am willing to put in the time neccessary to make my manuscript the best that it can be. I’d like to find a partnership that could become a friendship that would last longer than this one event.

Reading Challenge

Little Women Challenge

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If you’ve been following my blog for very long, you know how much the novel Little Women has influenced my life and my writing career. I just saw the new movie, and I loved it. Since my birthday is coming up this next month, I decided it’s the perfect time to celebrate with a challenge all about Little Women.

There will be three components to this challenge and a giveaway at the end. The first component is a read along through the novel, the second is a photo challenge (you can post on all social media sites with #littlewomencrbdaycelebration), and the third one is a movie watching challenge. There have been so many movies made, and I’d love to know which adaptation is your favorite. I’ve seen most of them, but am always willing to watch them again.

Book Read Along:

  1. Chapters 1-12 (Feb. 1- 8)
  2. Chapters 13-24 (Feb. 9-15)
  3. Chapters 25-36 (Feb. 16-22)
  4. Chapters 37-47 (Feb. 23-29)

Movie Watching:

  1.  1933 version with Katherine Hepburn
  2. 1949 version, Elizabeth Taylor wears a blonde wig and plays Amy
  3. 1978 two part TV version
  4. 1994 version, the one I grew up watching
  5. 2018 Masterpiece Theater three part series
  6. 2018 modern retelling movie
  7. 2019 Little Women

Since there are so many versions, you may not have time to watch all of them during the month, but try to choose at least four (one a week) of them to watch.

Photo Challenge:

  1. Favorite/your edition of Little Women.
  2. Favorite movie version of Little Women.
  3. Selfie reading Little Women
  4. Favorite character in Little Women
  5. Bonus post: Little Women merch
  6. Bonus post: All your copies of Little Women
  7. Bonus post:Little Women retelling

I’ve made some graphics for each part, which you can share across social media and on your blogs.

Here’s a link to my Goodreads list of Little Women retellings: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/43870902-charity-rau?shelf=little-women-inspired

Giveaway: At the end of the month, I’ll draw a name to receive a prize package containing a collectible edition of Little Women along with the Little Women writing gloves (from Storiarts, pictured in photo at the top of the post), and maybe some other goodies. Each blog comment below and each social media post with the #littlewomencrbdaycelebration will count as one entry into the drawing. (If winner is from outside of USA or Canada, you’ll receive prize value on a Amazon gift card.)

Reading Challenge

My Reading Challenges for 2020

I’m excited for a new year of reading and as always, I feel like I want to join every challenge I come across. Realistically, however, I know that’s not prudent. One, I don’t want to be too tied down by what I have to read, as I’m often a mood reader. And two,  I’ve found too many challenges make it hard to actually keep up with any of them. So I’ve narrowed down my challenges to these:

1. My county library challenge.  There’s a different topic for each month and you choose a book to fit into that challenge. January’s topic is “A Book That a Librarian Recommends”. I’ve chosen No Ink, No Borders, a book of poetry by immigrants and refugees. You can find out more about this challenge here.

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2. The Epic Reads Challenge/Book Club.  Epic reads is doing their challenge a little differently this year, They are giving  a monthly topic with their book club pick. January’s pick is A Very Large Expanse of Sea. There will be discussion about the chosen book on the Facebook group too. You can find out more about this challenge here.

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3. Books With A Past Bookstore Challenge.  This is one of my local bookstores. They are doing a challenge similar to the library one. The give a theme for each month, and you choose a book that fits that theme. The first theme is “A Book From you 2019 TBR list”. I’ve already read Final Girls by Riley Sager to fulfill this prompt. You can find out more about the challenge on their Instagram page here.

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4. The Goodreads Challenge. And of course, I’m also doing the Goodreads challenge. I’ve set my goal at 200 books which is higher than last year’s goal, but I also amazed myself by reading over 300 books last year, so I may have to make the goal higher if it seems like I’m going to do that again this year. 🙂

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Uncategorized

My Best Reads of 2019

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So I haven’t been as active on here as much I would have liked to lately. The holiday busyness, a sick dog (who is doing better now 🙂 ), a new position at my day job, and multiple car issues  have all contributed to a crazy start to the New Year.  Thankfully, things have calmed down some now and I’ve had the time I’ve needed to get in some writing time.

So, I had to share my best reads of the 2019:

1. Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly – A retelling of Cinderella that’s more about one of the stepsisters than Cinderella. I love retellings and this one didn’t disappoint. If you’re a fan of retellings, you’ll want to check this one out.
2. The Blood Spell by C.J. Redwine – Another Cinderella retelling. I love the worldbuilding and the characters in this world.
3. My Plain Jane by Jodi Meadows, Cynthia Hand and Brodi Ashton – At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of the humorous take on famous literary/historical characters, and then I read this almost 500 page book in two sittings. It was so good! You just have to read it to understand. 🙂
4. My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemmet – Sometimes the celebrity memoirs are a bit over the top, sounding more like made-up or at least exaggerated stuff. This one wasn’t like that. A fellow Midwestern girl, I found it really easy to relate to Ellie’s experiences as a kid.
5. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager – So I read all three of Sager’s books this year, and he’s become one of my favorite suspense writers. I can’t wait for the new book to drop this year!
6. Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody – An excellent writing source, and if you’re a writer you need to have this book in your library. It’s one of the best writing books I’ve ever read. It gets to the heart of what makes a story work.
7. Last of her Name by Jessica Khoury – Another favorite author, this book was a bit of different take for Khoury – a spacey sci-fi story – but I still loved it.
8. My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite – This one was so good! Braithwaite balanced suspense and humor masterfully. I loved the dynamic between the sisters, and as an older sister I can totally relate to the “always cleaning up my sister’s messes ” thing. I will read anything else Braithwaite writes without even having to read the blurb.
9. Educated by Tara Westover – Oh, this one! It hit me right in the heart. Her story is amazing and it shows the resilience of the human spirit.
10. Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco – Another great addition to the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. I really wanted to read Capturing the Devil last year too, but didn’t get to it, so it’s up next on my TBR. 🙂
11. The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson – This is part of another mystery series, and the third book comes out Tuesday! I can hardly wait.
So what about you? What was your favorite read of 2019? Did you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!
#authortoolboxbloghop

The Benefits of Writing By Hand

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I’ve heard many fellow writers laud the benefits of writing by hand, but I had never really given it much thought. I mean, really, it’s so convenient to type, and writing by hand seemed so old-school.

But then this year’s NaNoWriMo rolled around, and I found myself without access to a computer, but wanting to write and get my word count in for the day. So I wrote several decent sized chunks by hand (1500+ words). And I discovered why all these writers talk about how great it is to write by hand.

So today, I wanted to share some of the benefits I got from writing by hand.

1. The slower pace gives you time to think about where you’re going next. I found that when I had to slow down a little bit to write, I was able to think about “where am I going with this?” versus just typing out the words in a frenzy.

2. The change of pace gives you a fresh outlook on your WIP. I think this was also because of the slower pace, but I was able to think about my WIP in new ways and I actually had a couple of “aha moments”. I figured out exactly what I needed to do with certain pieces of my manuscript.

3. It’s exciting. Probably because of the first two reasons, I found this venture exciting. It gave me back some passion for my manuscript and I just wanted to keep writing. I couldn’t wait to discover what would happen next!

4. You can do it anywhere. Handwriting is, of course, the original way novels were written. All our eighteenth and nineteenth century idols wrote their great novels by hand. And all you need is a writing utensil and paper. 🙂

So if you’re looking for a change of pace, maybe this is your answer. Try handwriting a couple of pages and see what it does for you.

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This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop hosted by Raimey Gallant. To check out all the participating blogs, or to join in the fun go here.

What about you? Have you ever given handwriting a try? How did you like it?

For Writers, NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Bingo 2019

 

Hi all! November is almost here, and I’m going to do my NaNoWriMo Bingo again this year. So here is this year’s board. You can share and participate on Twitter and Instagram with #nanobingo19. (My username on Twitter is @charityrau1.)

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If you’d like a printable copy of the bingo board, you can get that here.

My NaNo username is charebear23.. Let me know what your’s is so we can cheer each other on this month! 🙂

Also, if you haven’t heard about NaNoWriMo, or haven’t signed up yet but want to, check out their site here.