Friday, October 27, 2017

Possible New Blog Title...

The Gifted Teacher's Guide to Having Adventures, Being Healthy, Being Inclusive, Writing Novels, Healing Your Country, Loving Your Family, Being Involved In Your Community and Generally Having A Good Time

Too much????

Friday, June 9, 2017

Thick As Thieves Is Here!!

When I wrote my last blog post, I had no idea that I was missing the best book of the summer! I fell in love with The Queen's Thief series five or six years ago, and I had no idea how long I would have to wait for the next book in the series.

One of the things I love best about this series is its fans. The books are awesome because of the unexpected twists and turns. Knowing what happens would destroy that, so there is a pact of silence among us. Although I am sure there are many spoilers out there on the internet, you won't get them from us!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

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And now, with a drumroll please...
Book 5!

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It is sitting in my reading basket, and I'm just waiting for the right time to let myself get transported back to Attolia. Or Sounis. Or Eddis. As the case may be. 😄

Friday, April 21, 2017

Summer Reading List 2017

Hi! It's been SUCH a long time since I posted. I'd had dreams of starting to post again with the A-Z challenge, but it is already April 21, so I missed that boat for sure.

I'm going to keep this post as simple as I can. I can usually spend HOURS on To Be Read lists, and I don't want to burn myself out on my first post back. That means no links, and no book descriptions, at least on this first day. Instead, let me tell you a little bit about what you might find in this list.

This is a purely YA list. I've taken a break from YA lately, and read Middle Grade, and even some adult (gasp!). But I'm starting to miss it, so I've compiled a list of YA--hopefully mostly sweet YA. The list appears to be a pretty solid mix of contemporary, fantasy and speculative. Enjoy!

Two Summers by Aimee Friedman 

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For the Record
Going Geek
by Charlotte Huang

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What To Say Next by: Julie Buxbaum

What to Say Next by [Buxbaum, Julie]

Orphan Queen
by Jodi Meadows

The Orphan Queen by [Meadows, Jodi]

The Girl from Everywhere
by Heidi Heilig

Product Details

The Darkest Hour
by Caroline Tung Richmond

Product Details

Always and Forever Lara Jean
by Jenny Han

Product Details

by Tiffany D. Jackson

Allegedly by [Jackson, Tiffany D.]

Venegeance Road
by: Erin Bowman

Vengeance Road by [Bowman, Erin]

Done Dirt Cheap
by Sarah Lemon
Done Dirt Cheap by [Lemon, Sarah]

The Sun Is Also A Star by
Nicola Yoon

Product Details

and last, but not least....

A Million Worlds Without You
by Claudia Gray
Product Details
If you haven't read A Thousand Pieces of You yet, I recommend you start with that one. A Million Worlds With You is the third book in the Firebird trilogy, which I love!

What books are you reading this summer? Comment below!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Melanie's Summer Reading List 2015

I'm trying to ease my way back in to this whole blogging thing, and I'm hoping that will help ease me back into the whole writing thing.  Life has gone pirouetting out of my control in these last few months, and I've landed in a whole new world--a good world, but one I'm not ready to talk about yet. I'm starting with something a little easier:

Melanie's Summer Reading List

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Dorothy Must Die is one of those books I might put down after 10 pages. 
But it has caught my eye just enough times that I've got to give it a chance.

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To All the Boys I've Loved Before caught me off-guard--I didn't expect to love it as much as I did. So I'm exited to read the sequel--P.S. I Still Love You.

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Sequel to The Winner's Curse, which I loved.


I am a Bones fanatic, and I've always wanted to read something by Kathy Reichs. But I almost always hate modern books written for adults, so I never tried. Kathy kindly fixed that problem by writing a series for young adults. I just finished Virals, and I'm looking forward to Seizure.

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I was attracted to this book because it looked like a Jennifer E. Smith cover.
Of course, once you start looking, you'll realize that her covers are getting copied right and left.
But I've got my fingers crossed.

It's a sad, lonely looking list...usually I've got dozens. But I'm kind of out of touch with all my reader peeps, so if you've got something I might enjoy, please leave me a comment!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Time Off

I am taking a week or two off from blogging. We've had some rough seas for the past while, and finding our way out of them is keeping us plenty busy.  I'll miss you all, and will try and update soon. Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk as a way for writers to connect with other writers. You can join by using the link on their website.

What I've Been Reading

I am almost finished with Darkness Watching by our own Emma L. Adams. I'm enjoying it very much, and think it will be the first of many books I read by her. When I finish, I plan to start This Shattered World. Yay!

What I've Been Writing

I wrote the first page of my new book, Lost Magic. It wasn't much, but it was a start. 

What Works For Me

I don't know if this works for me, actually, but I'm about to try the Turtle Method of writing. I just made that up, by the way. But the Turtle Method is where I try to do something every single day to get this book written. Even if it's only a page, or half an hour of writing, I need to get going if I'm ever going to build momentum. I'm buying myself some stickers today so I can add them to my calendar.  

What Else Is New

Last week I raved about how nice it was to finally get to watch some TV, after months without a break. Well, I've never been known for my moderation, and I kind of went off the deep end with Gilmore Girls this week--hence the only getting one page written. I think I'm ready to get back into the real world though. Cross your fingers for me.

**After reading Jaime's plea that we all try to comment, I decided to mention something. I've got a problem. It's probably something with an easy fix, but I haven't figured it out yet. I was just trying to comment on Katy Upperman's blog, and somehow, my comment vanished into the ether, the way it does almost every week. Her blog is not the only one I have that problem with. It seems like it's the same ones again and again. Always wordpress blogs, but not all wordpress blogs. I've always wondered if the comments were getting screened first, and if they appear after a few hours, but I don't think that's the case.  I'm mentioning this here and now, because of Jaime's plea that we take the time to comment on blogs. I try hard to comment on as many as I can every week, and I feel really badly that there are some WUW bloggers who have no idea how much I enjoy their blogs. I've always wondered how I could let them know, so if anyone knows what I'm doing wrong, I would love to know. Does anyone else have this problem?** 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What's Up Wednesday--In Which I OUTLINE A BOOK!!!

What's Up Wednesday is a blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk as a way for writers to connect with other writers. You can join by using the link on their website.

What I've Been Reading

I read Requiem for a Gypsy, a murder mystery set mainly in Slovakia, with several forays into the rest of Europe. I chose to read it because helpful books and websites about the modern day Roma are few and far between. I enjoyed the book. From a purely research standpoint, it was the most helpful thing I've read, but it still wasn't very helpful. Though the Roma were in it, the titled gypsy was a metaphorical gypsy, not a real one. I'm thinking about rereading Vodnik, a wonderful fantasy set in Slovakia. I should have done that from the start, but who knew I'd have such a rough time finding information? 

What I've Been Writing

I outlined yesterday!!!!!!!! I was at the dentist, waiting for my kids, and finally I ran out of excuses. Now I know why I've been dragging my feet so much--this is a complicated story I'm trying to write. One of the character's stories happens out of sync with the other characters, so I think I'm going to have to tell it by flashbacks. In fact, late last night I decided it might simplify everything if his whole story is a mystery the other characters need to solve. Also, there are a boatload of POV characters. I can't say much more at this point, except to say that...I'm writing the sequel to Hidden Magic! It's finally happening!

What Works For Me

When I'm researching a setting, I find that reading fiction gives me a much better sense of place than nonfiction does. Nonfiction doesn't supply me with the details, or the sensory images I need to place myself somewhere I've never been (I've never made such a huge leap as trying to write a story in Slovakia. I'm really terrified, and wish I could afford to go there and do some research. But I'm not, so fiction is the next best thing.)  

What Else Is New

On Monday, I finally had three hours to myself. It has been months and months, and I was in dire need of some ME time. I'd thought I would get it over a week ago, but then there were snow days and sick days and teacher work days, and my kids stayed home so much they very nearly forgot they went to school at all. On Monday I had a list of things to do as long as my arm, but I ignored it. Instead I lay on the couch and watched three and a half episodes of Gilmore Girls. I can't believe what a huge difference that has made in my mental health. I even had the headspace to OUTLINE yesterday! I'm a writer again!