April Writing

April means something new for me.  This year I am trying my second Camp NaNoWriMo.  This time I have a smaller goal: 20,000 words.  I have playing with the idea of Pride and Prejudice taking place in a university sorority and fraternity.  I realized, as I started writing it, that I haven’t really followed up on what happened with the piece I wrote last July for Camp NaNo.

For those who don’t know or remember, last July I made my first attempt at a memoir piece.  I wrote about 15,000 words and realized it was a short piece.  I contemplated it being a small part of something bigger, but I put it aside to focus on other things.  My hope had been that my writing group would start reading and giving me suggestions.  That hasn’t been able to happen yet because they haven’t been able to get to it.  I haven’t forgotten about it, but it has been put on the back burner for a while.

My main focus for editing has been to edit that epic novel that I finally finished writing in November.  All my little appendixes are written.  Now I have to clean it up and edit it.  Why bother editing something just for me?  Well, I want to print one single copy of it.  One single copy that I can read when I want to immerse myself in my personal fantasy.  One copy for someone to find when I die and read at my funeral.  I think it will give everyone a good laugh and they will feel better after I have died.  It really is terrible.

I do plan on letting people read the Peekskill memoir.  I am hoping to spend some editing time with it this summer.  I need to take it from stream of consciousness to  organized with a clear message.  It changed a few times while I was writing and it needs some work.  Then will come the alpha readers- people who can comment on this second draft.  These people will be close to home.  After those edits comes the chance to take it beyond my little circle.  People who donated to The Letters and Light last July (through my donation page) will have the chance to play editor.  This is when my family will probably ready it as well.  This all may not happen until the end of the year though.

For now, I am still chugging along with it and other things I have been writing.  Someday, someone will read something from all of this.

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Where In the World is Sara? Well, Lowell, but I was in the UK!

The 4th Doctor

The 4th Doctor

It has been a long time since I found the desire to post something here.  Count on big trips to new places to trigger a desire to write.  One of the nice things about traveling is that it provides you with many things to write about.  Traveling alone even more so since you spend most of the time in your own head thinking about things.  With my friend Leslie in Oxford for a year, the chance to see a new country was one I couldn’t pass up even if nobody else could afford to join me.

I will skip the story about the snow storm that almost ruined my trip.  I will skip the wonderful flight on Virgin Atlantic where I upgraded a class for $300.  I will skip the logistics of jet lag and sight seeing. These things are not interesting.  What is interesting? Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and the fact that most of my favorite books came out of the UK or were very influenced by things there.  To be fair, my book club did send me on a little hunt in Oxford.  What, most people asked me, does your little lady book club care about the most academic city in the entire world?  I have to remind people that just because we drink and cast movie versions of books more than actually discussing the book, doesn’t mean we don’t recognize quality.  Also, we enjoy the Discovery of Witches series and the first book spends a lot of time in Oxford.  Why would they care about All Souls, the most exclusive College in all of Oxford?  Well, our favorite character is part of that College.

The Divinity School at Oxford.

The Divinity School at Oxford. Part of the Bodleian Library- this is the Hogwarts infirmary in the movies. No, seriously.

For me, this trip was pure indulgence.  For an academic, going to Oxford was necessary.  It was an hour bus ride out of London and I decided I had to stay at a College over a much more comfortable hotel.  How many times in my life would I have this chance?  Who cares that the tub, sink and toilet are all in the hall.  It was worth it!  I got to see the Ashmolean Museum.  I got to tour of the Bodleian library.  I walked around Trinity College.  I saw the exhibits at the Museum of History of Science.  I ate in the same pub where Bill Clinton failed in inhale.  I realized that a pint of any beverage, cider specifically, is a lot to drink.  I bought books and book related things.  I found a lovely UK edition of The Goblet of Fire that I *HAD* to have because it was pretty.   I did spend time with Leslie, but my own need for sleep and her schedule didn’t allow as much as I had hoped.  These are the problems that come up when your plans change at the last minute.

Me at the Millennium Center in Cardiff.

Me at the Millennium Center in Cardiff.

I really enjoyed Oxford and wished I had planned for more time there.  I felt like, if my Paris retirement plans don’t work out, I could easily enjoy myself in Oxford and get to Paris often enough.  I could even imagine myself aging in the Bodleian library.

I couldn’t stay though, because I had to go to Cardiff.  Why Cardiff?  Doctor Who.  Yes, I traveled 2+ hours out of my way to London to indulge in Doctor Who activities.  Cardiff isn’t very special on Doctor Who, other than on Torchwood.  What is important is that they film Doctor Who in Cardiff and this is where the Doctor Who Experience is located.  This is a Doctor Who museum and show.  I made and brought the 4th Doctor’s scarf especially for this one day of the trip.  If everything else about the trip had gone wrong, this one afternoon in Cardiff would have been worth the entire expense of the trip.  Here is why: I flew the Tardis.  Not a Doctor Who fan?  The Tardis is the machine in which The Doctor and his companions travel through space and time.  On the outside it looks like a 50s era British police box.  On the inside it is much bigger.

The Millennium Center at night.

The Millennium Center at night.

Why did I get to fly it? Well, because there were all of 7 of us on the tour.  It was a week day afternoon.  Only tourists and college students are out and about in a tourism area.  I suspect, when the tour is packed with people, I would have given up my spot for someone younger.  The fact was that there were seven spots and seven people.  I took my time walking around the museum.  The displays focus primarily around the most recent versions of The Doctor, but the classic Who stuff was fantastic.  Having seen almost every episode of the show over the past few years, I recognized almost everything.  What I didn’t recognize were small things from current seasons.  There was just so much and great displays about the sound effects, costuming, and make up.  For those at Torchwood geek level- I did the Millennium Center too.  It was a wonderful evening for walking around so I did just that.  I had dinner right there and then walked back to my hotel room.

Trafalgar Square - for Frank.

Trafalgar Square – for Frank.

So here is the thing about being alone.  There is nobody there to take pictures of you.  I was more than happy to pay for pictures of myself assuming I looked good.  You see that above selfie of me?  Yeah, that mirrored pillar made me look great.  Another problem with traveling alone is the lack of people to talk to.  Oh, I would make friends with people in cafes and pubs if they seemed nice enough.  I had some great conversations with people.  Nobody was mean to me, but then I was a bit self-deprecating and apologetic when it came to asking for help.  I am an American and internationally recognized as jerks when we travel.  I did it in Paris too and I think it makes a world of difference.  People are willing to forgive and help when you are seem embarrassed by yourself.  The point is, I was alone most of the trip.  I know what it is like being alone.  I tend to like things that way.  When you are traveling and being a tourist it can be limiting and liberating.  There was nobody to roll their eyes when I needed to take pictures of everything in the Doctor Who Experience.  There was also nobody to giggle with about how accurate my scarf was.  Nobody else cared (someone was dressed up as the 8th Doctor, which is far more ambitious than a scarf).  There was nobody to push me to do just one more thing when I got tired.  There was nobody there to make me do something I didn’t want to do and would end up loving.  There was nobody to do anything with at night.  Since it was early in my trip I was trying to budget too so I didn’t just keep going out to see shows every night (though, that is a great idea for next time).  Most of the time I was in my head making up little stories of what it would be like if I was picked up by the Doctor and was his new companion.  It was a lot of little fan fiction moments for Sara.  Did I write them down?  No, none of them ever really worked out well.  Even in my head I was being too realistic.

The Tower of London and the Tower Bridge.

The Tower of London and the Tower Bridge.

London was more than I imagined it would be.  Paris was the same way.  The reason is that there are so many statues.  I am not sure to seeing statues everywhere.  The first day I spent taking pictures of as many statues as I could because that person could be famous.  By lunch I realized this was a silly plan.  Not only were there just too many, but I had no idea who these men were.  I did a round on the tour bus before deciding day one would be spent at the Tower of London.  I did a tour that had many routes and I had 48 hours on the tour to take as many of the routes as I wanted.  The first route was mostly historical places.  I loved the Tower of London.  I saw the Crown Jewels (I want the things that sparkle in colors).  I saw an exhibit about torture devices from the middle ages.  I walked around aimlessly pretending I was a prisoner.  It took me a few hours to get through it.  I also made a point of getting back to the room early as the final episode of Sherlock was airing that night.  I had watched the previous 2 episodes on the BBC webpage in Oxford just so I could enjoy the finale when it aired.

A cast of a king, can't remember which one.

A cast of a king, can’t remember which one.

Day two was spend on the museum route of my tour.  That meant the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Natural History Museum.  I like the first two the most.  When you wonder where artifacts are stored, remember: museums.  When you wonder where they put the things they steal from other countries (let’s be honest), remember: museums.  I saw things I know about from art history classes, television, and the world.  I saw the Rosetta Stone.  I saw pieces of that Parthenon.  I saw a lot of Hindu deity statues.  Everyone has a Shiva statue… well, everyone except me.  I was tempted to ask someone if I could have one.  I didn’t love the Natural History museum.  I think it was part age and part experience.  I have been to the one in New York.  The Dinosaur skeleton was neat, but I have seen a T-Rex.  Also, I feel like the wonders of the world for a child are different for an adult.  The planet is cool, but not as cool as it was when I was 10.  Art and artifacts were far more interesting for me.

Neptune and Triton

Neptune and Triton

Day three was my last day and the day I did things without the tour.  I enjoyed the tour and hearing about all these places I have only read about in books and seen on TV.  That was fun.  I am a pretty self motivated traveler though.  I didn’t really plan much on this trip, but I know how to get around without a taxi and tour bus.  My hotel was right next to Paddington Station (yes, I bought bears for kids).  I spend most of day 3 on the Tube.  Years of NYC and Boston subway systems- plus having done the Paris metro in a language I don’t really speak at all- made is easy to know how to do this on my own.  I wanted to see Kings Cross station.  I wanted to see the British National Library.  I wanted to hit the one yarn shop I knew about.  I wanted to get tickets to a show.  I wanted to see this tourist trap Beatles store I found a brochure for at the hotel.  Turned out that most of that was right off the Tube and three of those things in the same area.  I even managed to find the Sherlock Holmes museum on Baker Street.

I have few pictures from day 3- especially when compared to the rest of the trip.  It was just the nature of the day.  I may have spent more time at Kings Cross than I should have.  The thing is, I had to buy a wand at the Harry Potter store and they didn’t have what I wanted.  I had a hard time picking out the alternative.  The library had an exhibit on the Georgian Era of the UK.  This is Austen era so I probably spent more time there than other museums.  While many people had suggested I just splurge on the cab ride to the yarn shop, I realized I was but one stop away on the Tube and made the short trip.  I went back to the room early to get ready to see Mojo.

The truth is, I barely had enough time to see the things I wanted to see.  I need to go back.  I can’t wait to go back, but it is probably going to be a while.  I want to see so many more things and visit with more people.  If Leslie hadn’t decided to spend a year in Oxford, this might not have happened either.  It was one of those trips that ended up happening the way it should have.  Plus, I have plenty of things to help me remember.

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Another Year, Another Win

It is official: I have won my 9th NaNoWriMo.  This is my tenth year and I am pretty sure I have my winning system down pat.  You see, I am a social writer.  I know, seems odd, but I am.  I write more and better when I am writing with people.

When the month started I was reflecting on how my annual exercise of writing 50,000 words in 30 days has impacted my greater writing skills.  Now, on the flip end, I am focused on something different.  I am shocked at how well I did this year.  Within the first week I was half way done.  Most of that, about 15,000 of the first 25,000 words, were written in the first weekend.  This year I did something differently in how I planned my novel.  I decided to focus on two things.  First, I focused on my ending.  I struggle with endings in all my writing and communicating.  Most of it can be solved with knowing what my point is.  Writing the thesis reminded me the importance of knowing your objective and sticking to it.  The same is true in fiction writing.  You need to know what your story is and what points you need to make.  Once you make it, you wrap this up and move on.

That was what I did this year: decided on my ending.  I knew when and where the story should end.  What should be happening to my main characters to identify the end?  That was where my second point came in.  I had to decide what themes were important to my story.  I focused on two themes.  First, I looked at the men my main character had loved before she settled with her ‘soul mate’.  I wanted her to reflect on how those men and her feelings about them shifted as she changed.  Second, I wanted to have my main character to determine her full sense of identity.  Well, enough of one to make her happy.  I knew I was done when she was with the right man and had a strong sense of identity.  No, I won’t share more details than that.  The rest was terrible.

The month didn’t start out with this story though.  I woke up on November 1st with a strong idea for Harry Potter fan fiction.  I wanted to write that done as much as I could before moving on to my planned story.  It was an interesting experience.  I have woken up on November 1st with the perfect opening for a story or an idea that I want to write down.  I bolt out of bed, typically much earlier than I normally would have, rush down stairs and open the laptop.  Sabine meows a few times to remind me that she wants fresh water and some treats and, once the most important details are typed out, I take care of her needs.  This year I had an idea for a totally different story.  I spent the first weekend writing a 12,000 word bit of Harry Potter fan fiction.  I by no means finished that small piece, but I got all the ideas on paper.  That was all I wanted to do with it: get the ideas written before I forgot them.

By the end of the weekend I was working on my main story and already building on momentum.  Here is what I realized about that first weekend.  As the local organizer, the municipal liaison, I was at all three writing events that weekend.  I spent most of the Friday writing and then wrote extensively when we had events on Saturday and Sunday.  I write between 600-800 words in 15 minutes and that is how long we often work at events.  We call them writing sprints.  The goal is to write as much as you can without chatting, researching, or distracting yourself.  People do really well with these.  So, within 45 minutes of a 4 hour event, I had hit my daily minimum.  I had written about 5,000 words every day at these events because I was there for hours.

I tried writing from home too.  The best I did was when we ran sprints over Twitter, but it was hard to do when nobody else was online and the television was on.  I felt I was doing well enough at events that I didn’t need to worry about writing during the week at home.  This allowed me to have a small life outside of writing.  I was able to get knitting done, spend time with people, go to my book club, and more.  I just wanted to make sure I was done before Thanksgiving.  In fact, I was done on November 19th.

I don’t recall ever finishing this quickly.  Even taking off days to focus on life keeps me working until right before Thanksgiving.  Last year I didn’t finish until Nov. 26 and the year before that, Nov 22.  In past years my daily average has been about 1,800 words.  This year I jumped to 2,394 words.  I think changing my process could have been they key to my success.  I didn’t outline, I just stuck to my themes and ending.  Everything after that was free to develop as I needed.

I did other things as well.  I didn’t get stuck on chunks of text that didn’t come easily.  I moved on to chapters or action that came more easily.  I figured it would be easy enough to return to those sections when I can think them through.  I also had a plan for what to write if I finished my planned piece before 50,000 words.  I am glad I did both.  Right now I am still writing (I still have a few events to run) and have enough to work on for a while.  I am done though and now its time to think about next year!

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NaNoWriMo 2013

This year is the 10 year of NaNoWriMo for me.  If I am lucky, this will be my 9th win.  National Novel Writing Month is something I do every November.  I attempt to write a 50,000 word novel.  For most of the past 10 years, I have been writing and re-writing something terrible.  Every year someone asks me if they can read what I wrote and every year I laugh.  When people ask me what I am writing about I make a joke about it.  I am not trying to make it seem like I have no confidence in myself as a writer.  My point is that what I write in November is not for you to read.

I have learned, after all these thirty-seven years, that practice is the only way I can get good at anything.  Not only do I have to practice, but I have no expect nothing from the practice.  NaNoWriMo is my practice.  It is how I exercise my creative muscles for the moments that find me writing something that actually will be read by people.  For example, I think I did a great job writing a thesis (telling a story, organizing, and explaining the data) because of the years I have spent writing crap for NaNoWriMo.

When I read the stories from my first few years a number of things always strike me.  First, I get such an interesting picture of where I was mentally and emotionally when I wrote it.  Once I thought I would work my first NaNo Novel into something publishable. As I tried to go through it I realized I had been in such a dark place at the time that I can’t actually get back there now to make edits that would be true to the theme of the story.  Second, I get a great understanding of how my writing has improved.  This year I am actually re-writing something I wrote 3 years ago to see, among other reasons, what would change now that I have written so much and learned so much as a writer.  I realized, the first time, I felt a need to tell every little bit of the story.  Every relationship my main character had was important to tell even though it had nothing to do with the story and had nothing to contribute to understanding her.  I have learned how to edit my imagination.  I have a very deep understanding of the character I am writing after years of thinking about her.  Just because I have imagined things for her, doesn’t mean they need to be told in this story.  Third, I have tried a number of things that have failed, but I learned from the experience.  One year I tried to write an entire story in exposition.  It was the worst thing I have ever written.

Then there are the ways NaNoWriMo has helped me beyond my ability to write.  It has helped me meet people in my community.  I love social writing and people get really intrigued by this because writing is considered to be such a solitary experience.  It has helped me get involved in my community.  I meet people who run community events and I get involved in those activities.  It helps me get out of my head by putting what is in my head on paper.  Without the burden of all these ideas, I can get away from them and pay attention to other things.

In the end, NaNoWriMo is not about the end product for me.  It is a moment when I focus on the process and give myself permission to focus entirely on this creative pursuit.  Yes, I try to knit and read and have a life in November, but everything else gets put aside for me to write.  Maybe someday I will have something for you all to read- in fact, I do think there will be something very soon- but until then understand that what I write in November is not for you.  It’s not suppose to be.  It’s mine and mine alone.

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Adventures in Knitting: NY Sheep and Wool Festival

Patrick and me on the bus

Patrick and me on the bus

Three years ago, when Patrick and I went to our first WEBS tent sale and became yarn snobs, we had no idea what existed in the world of yarn beyond what our local yarn shops had available.  We had no idea about fiber festivals and expos.  As we walked back to Pat’s car with more yarn than we knew what to do with, we stopped to chat with a woman knitting in the back of her car.  I remember thinking something about yarn tailgating.  Her car was a station wagon so she had the back open and she sat in a folding chair knitting.  I half expected to see a hibachi, hot dogs and beer.  I don’t think she was doing that.  She was knitting and we said hello.  We talked briefly about the tent sale, how well we did and she asked us a question that would sit with us for years.

“Have you ever been to Rhinebeck?”

Rhinebeck Project Bag

Rhinebeck Project Bag

Pat and I both gave her confused looks.  We knew there was a place called Rhinebeck in New York, but we had no idea what she was talking about.

“What is this magical yarn land you call Rhinebeck?” is not actually what either one of us said, but that’s how we like to retell the story.

Still, this one question led us to discover what is probably the largest sheep and wool festival in the country.  Since then we discovered there are many such festivals, but Rhinebeck really is considered the one to go to.  Getting there is easier said than done.  Not because it is a magical place, but because it’s a bit far from where we live and fall gets very busy for all of us.

We have been given many travel tips over the years.  The biggest and most important one was not to drive it ourselves.  It is a long trip and buses often take large groups of people to allow them to relax and save some money.  These buses may as well have been unicorns.  Yes, there are many, but none seem to advertise.  I would often hear about them the weekend before the festival or after it happened.  As I have discovered with most social knitting: you have to be told about these things.  They are not secrets, but they are also not advertised widely.

Ravelry Meetup!

Ravelry Meetup!

This year I got lucky.  I have been knitting with a wonderful group of people at the Nashua yarn shop Twill.  Twill was trying to organize a bus and I heard about it months before the event.  I didn’t even have to think about it.  It felt as if this was the year to go.  Even after another trip to the WEBS tent sale (year 3!), I wanted to see what a sheep and wool festival was like.  My only experience with these events was the Miami Youth Fair where I had grown up, but that was rides with a small expo section.   Pat was on board with me even if Christi couldn’t come with us (she had a trip to Mexico around the same time).  Then the worst news came out: Twill couldn’t get enough people for the bus.  In the world of bad news, this is incredibly minor, but when you are planning this specific trip, it can be devastating.  Most of the people who planned on going with this bus had to cancel their trip because they didn’t know any other options for a bus and driving was not an option for them.

Kangaroos could care less about what you want them to do.

Kangaroos could care less about what you want them to do.

Pat found us a solution.  One of his knitting groups happened to have an in with a bus that had a few more seats left.  We quickly took our money and gave it to them.

The morning of the festival arrived.  By 4:30am I was up, out of bed and trying to find the energy to get out of the house.  I had been packing a bag all week.  I had a knitting project for the bus, snacks, bottles of water, and money put aside.  I had to pick my knit-wear to show off.  I picked my bamboo silk shawl that I had made over the summer.  I was surprised at how well I planned what to carry and what to leave.  Years of Book Expo have taught me what to expect when you are walking around in crowds all day.  I had the right shoes, the right clothes, and the right extras.  I also had no plan at all.  I had a budget, a few things I wanted to see, and nothing else.  I was going to rely on serendipity and Pat.

Burton Bear Cowl - Bus Project and button bought at Rhinebeck

Burton Bear Cowl – Bus Project and button bought at Rhinebeck

That is exactly what we did.  The bus ride was long and I am glad we did that rather than drive ourselves.  We were able to sit back, relax, and knit together.  My project was something I was making for Lev called the Burton Bear Cowl.  It is a cowl and hood that has ears on it to make it look like a bear.  It is with super bulky yarn so it knits up quickly.  It is also a simple pattern that didn’t require I pay attention to details.  I could put it down to nap or eat and not mess it up.

The festival itself was not very different from the way I imagined it.  There were tents and buildings full of yarn and fiber related item.  There was a building that had vineyards there with wine to taste and farms with cheese to sample.  The companies there were small, local companies that didn’t have wide distribution and may not make it into local yarn shops.  There was higher end yarn and even places doing discount on mid-range brands.  There was so much food, but the lines were so long it was easy to avoid most of it.  In fact, other than a gyro and fried dough, I didn’t indulge as much as I had planned.  I also didn’t go crazy buying yarn.  I bought yarn for 1 project and spent most of my money on little things: a button, pins, a project bag, and wine.  Pat and I ran into people we knew both as planned and as chance.

Needle felting projects

Needle felting projects

We even considered new crafts.  Well, I did. I am fascinated by needle felting and I think I may give it a try.

After a long day we piled back into the bus and were once again grateful we had taken it.  We enjoyed the long ride back home and talked about what we wanted to do for our next adventure in knitting.  By the time I got home at 11pm, almost 20 hours since I had woken up to leave, I was thrilled to be able to say I have done Rhinebeck, cross it off my to-do list, and to go to sleep.

Will we go again?  Maybe.  We missed having Christi and we know she wants to go.  Now that we have an in with a group that gets a bus, we can plan a head even better next year.

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Book Lust Challenge: Jan 2014 Selection Poll

For a few months I am going to post details here about the Book Lust Challenge.  We are picking the book for Jan. ’14 now in order to make sure everyone can get a copy of the book and have plenty of time to read.  Feel free to select the book you want to read!

Poll

Let’s pick the January 2014 Book Lust Challenge selection. You have a little over a week to pick the book you want to read in January. I think this gives us enough time to find a copy and read the book.

You can only pick 1 so the selected books will be the ones with the most votes.

 

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The Book Lust Challenge

Many years ago a friend challenged me to read all the books in Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust.  I had no idea what I was getting into when I agreed to do this.  Turned out, there were two volumes at the time.  Since then Book Crush and Book Lust: To Go have been released and I know there are probably more out there that in Nancy Pearl’s mind.  This has been a great opportunity for me to read new books.  I have been doing this alone though.  Over time I have learned that other people are doing this independently, but we all select different books.  With about 2,000 books per volume, it is common for those trying this to have read vastly different titles from the books.  I, for example, had easy access to Napoleonic era navy novels so I was able to jump into Horatio Hornblower and Sharpe.  Others may have avoided that section.

Doing it alone is getting boring though.  Nobody is reading the same books I am reading because the collection is eclectic and older.  I got to thinking: what if I ran this as a yearly reading challenge?  Then, at the very least, others would read a few of the same books as me for the year.  Starting in January 2014, the group will select 4 titles a month: the main selection and three extra credit titles.  This way, if you read the main selection, you have three others to pick from.  The group will be organized through GoodReads and I encourage you to join it, but it won’t be required to participate.   On GoodReads we will be discussing which books to select and vote.  We will probably discuss the books there as well, but people are free to participate through the comments on this blog.   You only need to read 1 of the books, but obviously if you read them all for the month then you get bonus points.  What will points get you?  Nothing but a strong sense of superiority.  That is pretty awesome, after all.

Rules?  Yes!  I was given rules too so I am going to extend them to the group as best as I can remember them.

  1. Books can be print, audio, or e-book format. You can buy, borrow, trade, or check out from library.  Please do not steal.
  2. If you already read a book, you do not have to read it again.   That means, if a title is under different themes, you only need to read it once to check it off.
  3. Large, multi-volume books should not be selected if they are things like encyclopedia or other reference books.
  4. You should read at least 1 of the books selected each month
  5. The book doesn’t count if you don’t finish it.  I know, some of these are not easy reads.  Still, you should finish the entire book.
  6. For 2014, the books should come from Book Lust 1.  There is overlap between volumes and duplication within each volume, but that will just be a bonus feature.

How can you participate?

  1. You want to get access to the list.  I will always suggest getting your own copy of the book.  I know that isn’t always possible and a good list of all the included books (with duplication) can be found at Best Of Lists.  The person who built that list even went as far as to break it down by theme and which number books fall under that theme.
  2. Go through the list and check off the ones you have already read.  Select about 12 you want to read this year and let me know so we can add those to the selection list.  Feel free to read any of them now.
  3. Join the GoodReads group.  This is not required, but I hope the bulk of the discussion about book selection and such will happen there.  It’s a great network anyway and allows you to create your own personal library.
  4. Leave me some type of message letting me know you are participating.  A comment here, on GoodReads or somewhere else.
  5. Coming aboard late?  WELCOME!  Just start where you join us.  We will do 2015 and you are welcome to read at any pace you want

The book selections will be announced at least 1 month early to give you a while month to read before the discussions open.  The discussion will open on the 1st of the month for the month in question.  Each title will have its own discussion post on GoodReads.  I will also take suggestions on books to select at any time.  Feel free to post in the comments on any Book Lust Challenge related entry.

I think that will work for now.  Let’s see how this works and if there are any questions that come up before I start worrying about what could happen.

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Oh No!

What happened?  Well, I happened.  Basically, it was that time of year where I renew my domain name and decided to leave Go Daddy.  The timing of the update got a bit mixed up and I focused on downloading webpage files to transfer over.  What I failed to get to was the entire blog.  So, I am starting over from scratch and it is an opportunity to re-think the blog.  I am not sure where I am going with this just yet, I am more focused on re-building my webpage/portfolio.  Keep an eye out though.  I hope to be moving forward by the end of the month, but who knows what will happen.

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