What I've Been Reading, Watching, Learning,and Listening to
It's been a long time since I've posted. In fact, it's been a long time since I've been regular with blogging in general. I think that's because I haven't always been confident about what I should post, about what you, lovely readers, might find interesting. Lately I've been asking myself what I want to know about other authors and I've come to the conclusion that what fascinates me most is how they spend their time, what they read/watch, and what inspires them/what they're working on. So going forward that is what I will be posting most.
What I've Been Reading:
One of my goals this year is to read 50 books. Which means I need to read 4-5 per month. I'm trying to break down each month's reading list this way: 4 fiction books (a mix of YA and adult) and 1 nonfiction/craft book. For the month of January here's what I read:
Honeymoon by James Patterson: this goes along with the Master Class I'm taking of his--good read-quick and easy.
This is Our Story by Ashley Elston: smart and tense YA thriller that I basically gobbled up.
Cradle and All by James Patterson: liked this one better than Honeymoon. It is considered YA, but to me it read more adult in tone and content. A good choice if you are an Omen fan--sort of thrilling and creepy.
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: This one is an annual re-read for me because I love it so much. Besides On Writing, this is the only other craft/inspiration book I read and re-read often.
My favorite read by far was Goodbye Days. It was touching and lovely--steeped in Southern culture. I highly recommend this one.
What I've Been Watching:
There wasn't a lot of time for TV the past little bit, but I did manage to watch Gilmore Girls finally--the first few seasons, but skipping around some. I like it, but I must admit I'm not a rabid fan. It's cute which is usually not my cup of tea!
As for movies...
Train to Busan--A must for any self-respecting zombie fan! Only one that managed to get me to cry at the end.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe--creepy in parts, but I wasn't bowled over.
Ouja--meh. It's hard to do haunted house/possession well in my opinion and this one missed the mark for me. The Conjuring was better.
Office Party--DEAR LORD. Not my thing at all.
Split: I really liked this one overall. Some implausible stuff, but James McCavoy was brilliant in it.
What I've Been Listening To:
I am in my car a lot. I mean a lot, a lot. With two kids in two different school districts I drive roughly 3 and half hours per day. So audiobooks, music, and podcasts are lifesavers. Here's what I've been obsessed with lately:
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis: Great historical, well-written, highly recommend for thriller lovers and historical lovers.
The Nix by Nathan Hill: Just finishing this one up now and it is laugh out loud funny in parts and so smartly written.
The School of Greatness--I love hearing other people's stories about how they became successful.
The Art of Charm/Social Science/Cognitive Psychology/etc.---I'm a sucker for psychology, this podcast delivers.
TED Radio Hour
The Main--I love their music. "Twenty Four Floors" is on my current WIP playllist.
Catfish and the Bottlemen--New discovery for me. Currently digging "7"
Bring Me the Horizon--"Drown" is on my WIP playlist.
The Strokes---daughter turned me on to them, now I am obsessed.
What I've Been Learning:
One of my other goals for this year was to continue honing my craft. I feel woefully inadequate when it comes to tight plotting/pacing, so I signed up for James Patteron's Master Class. It was worth the price of admission for access to one of his book outlines. I've always wondered how other authors do it. It was both reassuring and gratifying to hear/learn James's process. I also really love the office hours section where James gives his thoughts on other students' real work and has several practice exercises for things like revision where you get to compare your revision skills/choices to James's on a series of writing pieces.
So that's what I've been up to the past few weeks. How about you? I'm always searching for new books, audiobooks, podcasts, music, etc. I'd love to hear your recommendations!