Rosie: New or Old?

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m going to start Taylor-Made again.  I had already decided I was going to rewrite everything but the first chapter, change the setting, and possibly change the female lead, Rosie.  In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I decided I needed to change Rosie.  Taylor, I love, and if I thought I could do so, I’d write it from his perspective.

Here’s the thing.  I think I write boys better than girls.  I don’t know why that is, I just think I do.  But it comes down to one thing: my boys are very different from each other, and my girls aren’t.  Sure, Fiona from “Fireflies” is pretty different, and that was the point of writing a story for her.  Mailee’s a little different (and note that Fiona and Mai are the ones getting published) because she’s shy, but in her head she has the same attitude as the rest of my girls.  I like my girls with attitude.  I like them to kick ass and to be headstrong and to use sarcasm all day long.  Tia and Evie are my most extreme versions of this, but the YA girls all have it.  And I think sometimes I hide their emotions a little too much in their attitude, and that is definitely a problem.

So we come to Rosie.  She has issues she wants to protest.  Originally, I had her on the speech and debate team, so obviously she had no problem voicing her opinion.  In those 4K words I wrote of TM the first time around, she flips out at a girl who makes fun of her MIA boyfriend, and only doesn’t punch her because her friend holds her back.  I don’t know if she can really kick ass (I picture her as fairly small), but she’s scrappy at least.  And the first thing she does when she meets Taylor is shove a protest sign into his stomach (not literally.  She’s not *that* violent 😉 )

I kind of love her.  Well, of course I do.  This is the type of female MC I adore.  That’s why I keep writing them.

The one I came up with before rereading would be very different.  She still would have issues she wants to protest, but she’d be the one organizing the protest but having trouble finding her voice to yell at people.  She’d be shyer.  Her opinions would be there, but she’d have trouble voicing them.  She certainly wouldn’t be flying at people who insulted her or arguing with the boy who showed up to possibly ruin her protest.  While old Rosie was attracted to Taylor from minute one, she refused to acknowledge it, but new Rosie would right away.  Not out loud, oh no.  It just wouldn’t be the love-hate relationship so many of mine are.  This would be a different direction than I usually take, but I think it would work fine conflict-wise, since the real obstacle to their relationship would come after they’ve established one–when she finds out that he’s a BOIS created for her by her sister.  And instead of being on the speech and debate team, I think I’d just have her have an essay (still about BOIS rights) she wrote that she needs to read publicly.  As someone adverse to public speaking, myself, I could probably write that conflict easily.

I think I could fall in love with new Rosie.  And she might be the direction the novel needs to take, besides which, it would probably expand my female character range.  But reading what I have of old Rosie makes me want to keep her.

So I put it out there to the world to help me decide.  Should I go with familiar, attitude-filled, love-hate relationship, scrappy Rosie?  Or should I go with new, quiet, crush-at-first-sight Rosie?

Lots of love,

Sage

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Salvaging Your Abandoned Projects

Rhetorical question alert: Ever abandon a project, only to realize months–maybe years–later that there was some promise there after all?

A lot of my early books were this way.  After the first 2000 words of AFTRLYF, I decided it was far too ambitious.  And I wasn’t that good a writer anyway.  What was I thinking?  Yeah. That was me.  Then one day I was deciding on a NaNoWriMo project with my friend, and I described three projects I had in my mind.  The more I described AFTRLYF, the more I knew it was the one to write.  She confirmed that with a, “That’s awesome!  Do that one!”  And I loved it, even the overwhelming parts.

DownLoad was the same way.  I got about 200 words in before I decided it was too ambitious.  Sci-fi? Me?  What was I thinking?  Fast forward to… wait for it… NaNoWriMo, and once again I was tackling it head on (NaNo’s my time to try new things, right?).  Okay, so I doubted myself the whole way through for that one, but I finished it, and after it was done and revised and revised, I loved it.

Sometimes I just can’t seem to salvage the project I abandoned.  Boy/Girl is one I’ve revisited a couple of times.  I think it’s just too dependent on the romance and not enough on the fantasy.  I need more action!  But I can’t figure out how, so it gets abandoned again and again.  It doesn’t help that my MC is not choosing the boy he/she is supposed to.

A couple of years ago, I started writing this novel called Taylor-made.  It was based off a song (aren’t they all?) .  I made a soundtrack of image songs for my characters.  I had a basic plot.  It was light sci-fi, so I developed a dystopian setting (it was before people got tired of that).  I wrote 100 sentences about my MC.  I wrote the first chapter, and I still adore it.  It was everything that came after that was the  problem.  I was beginning this story during a mini-writing retreat.  3-5 days in my favorite little town with my favorite coffee shop.  I should have been knocking words out, but I wasn’t.  I moved slowly through my MCs meeting, and then I had nothing.  I had no clue how to proceed.  I knew some events that were to come, but I couldn’t make my characters move towards them.

I started writing Hero/Villain instead.  I fell in love with it and put TM aside, probably forever.

But, you see, the other day I happened upon that playlist and listened to it.  And thought about it.  And asked how I could change the setting (which wasn’t working anyway) and up the stakes in the plot (now that I’ve realized that I need MORE action in my plots to be able to finish them).  And I want to keep the love triangle and the basic concept (except right this second, I’m even considering changing the romance a little, lol), but I could make this novel work.  I say without writing a word.  But, no, really.  The last few days, it has been on my mind, and I don’t want to give up on my characters, which, let’s face it, is really all I’m salvaging from the original idea.  If I rework the plot and the setting, I think I could get into the story, this time for keeps.

But, you know, it might not work.  Sometimes you find out that you abandoned it for a reason.  It was a sinking ship and you didn’t have the time and energy to sink with it.  It’s not really your style.  Or you still feel it’s too ambitious.  And that’s just fine.

But if it’s on your mind, and there’s just that chance that it might be salvageable, go ahead and try.  You might save it or you might just learn something (like I did with B/G).  And it might, it just might, turn into something you love.

Lots of love,

Sage

Words with Strangers

So piggybacking off my Hanging with Friends/Words with Friends post, and continuing in the “making your words count” vein, I want to talk about my inability to write for strangers and acquaintances.  This really falls in the non-fiction category.  While what I’m talking about may not be any more formal than this blog post right now, there are certain mediums where I just freeze up and stress over every word.

E-mails are a big one, and sometimes this falls into the realm of Writer Sage because sometimes these e-mails are to agents or editors.  Querying isn’t too big a problem anymore for me, unless I’m making the query very personalized.  And then I freak out over one or two sentences.  Status queries can be agony.  A thank you for some excellent revision suggestions.  An e-mail to my editor that contains anything from “Here’s these edits” to an explanation of why I disagree with an edit or a question about one.  At work, I might just be sending an e-mail stating that I’m sending something to someone at the main lab.  It might be an e-mail with an attachment included, and that’s all I need to say.

But I stress about it.

At work this week, I had two requests for writing.  One was a self-evaluation.  The other was a resume with my updated lab experience.  Now, I have been told time and time again that the self-evaluations are meaningless.  Some people in the lab have even copy-and-pasted past evaluation answers into the current (identical) form.  Not me.  First I worry about the content. The first question is about new things I’ve learned and how I’ve made the lab more efficient and so on.  (It’s the only question I think is actually worth anything, tbh).  So I worry about what I learned this year vs. last year, and whether it’s impressive enough, and have I filled enough lines with the answer.  Then I start rereading it to see if the wording is bad.  Do I sound too full of myself here?  Does this sound like I think I did more than they think I did (and is this a bad thing or should I inform them of that)?  Does this item here seem wishy-washy?  Can I say this in a less awkward way?

And, stop.  Right there.  That’s really important in writing books, but really?  Who cares if my sentence was awkward in a self-evaluation?  One of our employees can barely read English.  Nobody else in the lab is a writer.  My first draft will probably be more polished than what anyone else turns in.

But I do three drafts and reread and reread and reread.  And reread one last time, just in case I change my mind or some key thing is going to pop out at me.  Because that’s what I do with this kind of writing.  Hey, at least I don’t send it out to betas.

Except on that resume thing.  Because at one point I was looking at the resume of a coworker with similar experience, whose bio I was supposedly going to be able to copy and make minor changes to.  And I stared at two of her listed pieces of experience and tried to figure out which one I actually had, because to me they sounded like a different way of describing a similar experience.  I finally took it to my supervisor and asked him what he thought.  He told me to combine them, lol.  After I figured out what to toss and what to add and what to leave alone, I found a new thing to stress about.  I remembered that when I was being taught to make a resume, there was a big deal made about the way you list your experience for each job.  I had to bullet each piece of experience and start the description of it with a verb.  And the verbs all had to be the same tense.  But the sample resume didn’t, and that made sense because some things are constantly being done by me (lab work, for example) and some are experience I have, but of things I did in the past.  I must have gone through and changed verbs and tenses about 20 times.

But you know what?  That’s not going to matter when they read the bio.  The reader isn’t going to notice the verb tenses.  They won’t care if I shifted them or not.  Certainly, nobody’s going to choose whether we get this projected based on a tense shift.

And it’s funny, especially in light of my “making your words count” post yesterday, that the things I stressed most about in these types of writing are the things that barely matter at all.  The actual words don’t count in my self-evaluation and work bio, only the message does.  Nobody cares how I phrase an e-mail at work, as long as they know what I’m trying to say.  A thank you to an agent or an editor could probably be simply “Thanks!” without my trying to express my appreciation in a wordier fashion.  No matter how many times I reread that long e-mail to my editor, in the end I will send it with only superficial changes made to it.

When you’re writing for an audience, for entertainment, every word counts, and how you write it counts.  Your readers are reading for your style and your words and your phrasing and your message.   You need the whole package.  And of course, I stress about that, especially in the editing phase.

But not like I stress about these things that just don’t matter.  Weird, huh?

Lots of love,

Sage

Making Your Words Count (or “What I learned while Hanging with Friends”)

So when I’m not working on edits for Love Sucks, I’m playing my new obsession.  My sister and dad introduced me to the “with friends” games while I was visiting for Christmas.  Well, after getting my shiny, new iPhone, I downloaded the apps, and now I play with them all the time.

The two I play are Hanging with Friends and Words with Friends.  Words with Friends is essentially Scrabble.  Hanging with Friends is a hangman/Scrabble hybrid.  Hanging is my favorite (so far I haven’t lost).  With Hanging, you have a certain set of letters that you can create a word from 4 to 8 letters long.  Each letter has a number of points it’s worth, and one space you have to fill might be worth double or triple.  You get points for the word, but those aren’t what wins the game.  Instead those points are used to collect “coins” so you can get special avatars and such.  What wins the game is whether the other person can figure out your word before they run out of letter guesses, just like in hangman.  You also get fewer guesses for longer words (supposedly because there are more letter options in the word) and more for short words.

Sometimes for Hanging, I focus on getting more points and sometimes I focus on stumping the other person.  I am much better at beating the other person in Hanging because, in the end, a better vocabulary is your friend.  This is not necessarily true for Words with Friends.  An impressive vocabulary can help you figure out how to use a difficult set of letters, but for Words, what matters is the points you got for each letter.  It doesn’t matter how great a word is if it’s a ton of common letters and doesn’t land on a special square (double/triple letter/word score squares).  Then someone will hit me with “za” on a triple word score and get 33 points.  Grrrrr.  (But now you know that trick, as do I 😉 )

So what do we, as writers, learn from Hanging with Friends and Words with Friends?  It’s how to make your words count.  It doesn’t matter if you use a ten-dollar word, if you don’t use it right.  Even in Hanging with Friends, I know that there are some letters the people I’m playing with always guess first.  Also, the guesser gets the last vowel automatically, so if you have several of that same vowel, they get every one without a single guess.  If you have several of any letter, it leads to fewer guesses that they have to make.  So I have to try hard to avoid these things, even if the letters I have available give me the opportunity to make a great word out of those letters.  In Words, a long word might be gold, but it might have been worth more if you had put it in the right spot, or if you had used the same letters for two smaller words in different places.

Writers are taught that we have to make sure that our words matter.  We have to make them count for all they’re worth.

Maybe my Hanging with Friends and Words with Friends obsession is nothing more than me being thrilled to show off my writer’s vocabulary.  Totally possible.  But maybe, just maybe, it’s helping me learn to make those words count.

Lots of love,
Sage

A Little Bit of Distance Can Be Hard

Last week I posted about how nice it was to receive edits on a novel you haven’t worked on in a while.  And it is nice from the viewpoint of not being too attached to your golden (silver… brassy… well, black and white) words.  How free of stress the suggestion to change your prose is when you haven’t gone over and over it recently, trying to make it perfect.

But, of course, there is a difficulty.  Once we get past the change-a-sentence-here, change-a-sentence-there stuff, we come to edits that require knowledge of the scene.  And I have to admit that after a year away from the novel, I don’t remember every detail of every scene perfectly.

For example, my editor wanted me to change a scene, and when it came time to consider what to do about the scene, I thought I had the fix.  Basically, Mailee’s and Eric’s clothes were wet and they probably should change them.  No problem.  I’d make a simple change and have Eric grab clothes for himself and Mailee from his room and they would both change.

Oh, wait.  As I read the scene, then the beginning of the chapter, I realized that they weren’t at his apartment.  They were at her mom’s house.  Well, that posed a bigger problem, since he wasn’t going to have any clothes there to change into (I might have considered him wearing her clothes if he wasn’t huge and she wasn’t tiny 😉 ), him leaving to get clothes would destroy the scene, and her changing when he hadn’t didn’t make any sense because they were going to spend the rest of the scene cuddling.  Oops.

Later on, my editor reminded me that Mailee’s hand was hurt, and she should react that way in the current scene.  I was preeeeetty sure her hand was hurt from punching someone, but I had to read everything in between those scenes to make sure that that was all.  Mailee’s a little accident prone, so there were plenty of other reasons she could have hurt her hand, but, nope, I was right and it was the punching.

Of course, there are some things that you’re going to have to reread and reread no matter how long ago you worked on it.  I was adding in a bunch of world-building mythology into the novel, and I had to make sure I didn’t contradict anything that is vital to the plot.  Mailee has a week to perform her quest, so I had to make sure the week was included in the mythology.  And then I debated whether or not I really needed that week.  Wouldn’t it be simpler to lose it?  Oh, but, wait, the week was needed because someone had started the quest before, and I needed to explain why everything went back to square one when he didn’t finish.

And I probably would have remembered most of the mythology even with the distance.  I mean, it’s the reason the plot follows along the way it does.  But it’s the details that I worry about, and so the distance must be crossed so I can gain a new familiarity with this novel that I once knew every word of.  Well, maybe not every word, but I sure would have known that they were at Mailee’s house, not Eric’s. 😉

Lots of love,

Sage

A Little Bit of Distance Can Be Nice

This week I received my first edits for Love Sucks from my editor.  I was a little nervous, let me tell you.  I had 16 beta reads of this novel (8 before the agent R&R and 8 after), and I remembered how it felt to get notes.  Even ones I logically knew were spot on could upset me.  Part of this would be me feeling ashamed that I overlooked the problem, but you know that some of it was a tiny bit of golden word syndrome. “How did the reader not understand that I was doing this???” You know how it is.

When you write a novel, you put your heart and soul into it.  When you revise it, you’re polishing and making it even better than when you started, so now your heart and soul has been shined up and how could anyone not love it?  You get pet scenes and pet plot points and pet characters, and even pet lines, and then someone tells you to change one.  And you get defensive because it’s your baby.  They tell you to explain something you know you made clear.  They don’t get what you were doing.  And you think it’s all their fault.

And then you calm down.  You look at what the basis of the complaint is.  You figure out ways to make necessary changes without losing the things you love about that scene or plot point or character or line.  You remember that sometimes you miss information when reading too.  And you also see if what you thought was clear was maybe not so clear after all.  If they don’t get what you’re doing, maybe you need to make it more obvious.  Maybe.

Of course, the whole time, you still appreciate their hard work.  You make a lot of changes, you don’t make others (sometimes you should have).  But there’s always this little tiny defensive voice.  But I find that defensive voice goes away pretty much as soon as I finish the edits and read through it.  There are very few things I remember from my earlier versions, and they are all MAJOR edits (like losing/adding in scenes).  I rearranged the beginning of Love Sucks, and I could not tell you what scenes came before others.  As important as I thought the way I originally wrote it was, it was not important enough to remember.

Those beta notes on Love Sucks, though?  They were two years ago.  I reread the novel for fun some time last year, and I took out most of Mailee’s stuttering a little before that.  Other than that, I haven’t touched the book in over a year.

So when I got these edits from my editor, it turned out that I was so distant from the book that I didn’t feel defensive about any of them.  Not even a little.  If I think there was a bit of a reading miscomprehension, I figure out how to make it all clear.  There’s one place so far that I’ve had to STET, and I was perfectly mellow about it, and all the rest of the revision notes have been me just nodding along and seeing what I can do.  Maybe I got an editor who gets it?  Well, I think I did, but my betas got it too, I know they did.  I have betas who still tell me they love that novel.  And one major suggestion by my editor is one that I’ve gotten before and I shrugged off and now I’m all ready to do it.

Distance is nice for taking revision suggestions.

But don’t get me wrong.  I’m still an advocate for going straight into revisions as soon as you’re done with the novel if you’re still on that writing high.  I love the initial editing passes, and I almost always do them within that month I finished.  And I don’t suggest waiting a year or two before getting those first beta notes, no way.

But distance is nice.  And I’m hoping that I continue to feel this way about my edits.

And as long as my editor doesn’t suggest I do something odd like cut out the main LI and make my MC fall in love with a minor character (yes, it’s happened before), I probably will.

Okay, time to go back to edits.

Lots of love,

Sage

100 Book Challenge 2011 results

Oh man, from November on, I was so busy last year.  But it’s a new year and time to start posting again.  First post is looking back at 2011.

Last year I took on the 100 Book Challenge again.  For those of you who don’t remember, the challenge is to read 100 MG or older books.  Graphic novels count, but I didn’t read any in 2011.  Rereads count, but not if you reread it twice in 2011 (I had one audiobook I listened to twice in 2011, but it only counted once).  I also read several chapter books in preparation for NaNo, but none of them counted.

In all, I read 103 countable books.  11 were adult books.  27 were MG. 1 was a classic (hard to define YA/MG/adultness). 64 were YA (big surprise).  4 were beta reads.  10 were audiobooks.  2 were won in blog contests and 1 was won at a radio event when I was getting a hair cut.  Only 17 were books I got out of the big Borders closing shopping trips (but I have several more on my TBR shelf), and out of those, I adored only 4 and ended up buying sequels/prequels if they were available, and I hated 2.  This year I rediscovered the library and 23 counted books came from there.  7 chapter books were not counted, and all but 2 were library books.

So you’re probably tired of the stats and just want the list.  Here’s my 103 books of 2011:

1. Meetings at the Metaphor Cafe by Robert Pacillio
2. Jane by April Lindner
3. Death Masks by Jim Butcher
4. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
5. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
6. Sphinx’s Queen by Esther Friesner
7. Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors
8. Luna by Julie Anne Peters
9. Choker by Elizabeth Woods
10. Clockwork Angel: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare (audiobook)
11. Dr. Friedrich’s School for Minions(beta read)
12. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (audiobook)
13. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
14. The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
15. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
16. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
17. Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (audiobook)
18. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
19. Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
20. Dead Beat by Jim Butcher (audiobook)
21. Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang
22. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (audiobook)
23. Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
24. Warped by Maurissa Guibord
25. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (audiobook)
26. The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins
27. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
28. Empty by Suzanne Weyn
29. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
30. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
31. Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
32. The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
33. Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
34. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
35. Glee: The Beginning by Sophia Lowell
36. Twice Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
37. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
38. Ironside by Holly Black
39. Divergent by Veronica Roth
40. Huntress by Malinda Lo
41. A Deadly Game of Magic by Joan Lowery Nixon
42. Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn
43. Steel by Carrie Vaughn
44. Battle Dress by Amy Efaw
45. I am J by Cris Beam
46. Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz
47. The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood
48. The Boyfriend List by e. lockhart
49. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale (audiobook)
50. Wildwing by Emily Whitman
51. The Boy Book by e. lockhart
52. River Secrets by Shannon Hale (audiobook)
53. A Need so Beautiful by Suzanne Young
54. House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones
55. Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
56. The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
57. Forest Born by Shannon Hale
58. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (audiobook)
59. The Secret of Ka by Christopher Pike
60. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
61. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by e. lockhart
62. Beastly by Alex Flinn
63. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
(xx. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (audiobook))
64. Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
65. Soundtrack (beta read)
66. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
67. The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
68. The Treasure Map of Boys by e. lockhart
69. A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning by Lemony Snickett
70. Enter Three Witches by Caroline B. Cooney
71. The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
72. Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
73. The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal
(Cam Jansen and the Mystery Writer Mystery by David A. Adler)
74. Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary
75. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
76. How to be a Pirate by Cressida Cowell
77. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
(Clementine by Sarah Pennypacker)
78. Frindle by Andrew Clements
79. Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary
80. White Cat by Holly Black
(The Talented Clementine by Sarah Pennypacker)
81. The Witches by Roald Dahl
82. Real Live Boyfriends by e. Lockhart
83. Ramona and her Father by Beverly Cleary
84. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
85. Supernaturally by Kiersten White (audiobook)
86. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
87. Blackbird (beta read)
88. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
89. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
90. The Worst Witch at School by Jill Murphy
91. The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School by Candace Fleming
(Time Warp Trio: Summer Reading is Killing Me by Jon Scieszka)
92. An Awfully Beastly Business: Battle of the Zombies by the Beastly Boys.
(Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost by Cornelia Funke)
93. The Worst Witch Saves the Day by Jill Murphy
(The Boxcar Children: The Vampire Mystery by ???)
(Marty McGuire by Kate Messner)
94. Doctor Who: Forever Autumn by Mark Morris
95. Poirot’s Early Cases by Agatha Christie
96. Mason Dixon: Pet Disasters by Claudia Mills
97. No Talking by Andrew Clements
98. Liar by Justine Larbalestier
99. Red Glove by Holly Black
100. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
101. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
102. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
103. Jack (beta)

There are so many books on this list this year that I loved.  Some of them were surprising (I had no clue I was going to love The Boyfriend List and its sequels so much), some were totally expected (there was no doubt I was going to love A Need So Beautiful).  I know I should tell you my favorite book, but I just went through the list and found the task impossible.  Even when I tried to make a top 5 list, I had difficulty, lol.  Yay for a year of great reading!  In recent years, I’ve found it difficult to enjoy reading.  My writer self kept intruding.  Sometimes that still happens, but I’ve gotten back to reading for fun and enjoying good or fun (or both) books again 🙂  Unfortunately, there were a few books I was very disappointed in as well.  One got my very first 1 star review on Goodreads.  I know.  But overall, a great year for books for me.

I’ve taken up the challenge again this year. I am currently on my 3rd book this year, and I have loved every one of them so far.  And they’re all so different, so this is kind of amazing.

Anyway, I hope your reading last year was as successful, and feel free to take on the challenge with me.

Lots of love,
Sage