Tues-Thurs Reading Schedule

Okay so today I figured out what the check out limit is at my library. It’s 20. I had eight more books to pick up but on this impromptu trip I didn’t take the books I was going to return. But at least now I know how many books I can get at one time.

So I have a lot of material to go through. On the way home I thought about making a schedule to read them. So that’s what I did. Now of course the challenge is seeing if I’ll stick to it. But I digress:

Tuesday 7-8 pm: Missing Mom by Joyce Carol Oates
Before Bed: Beautiful Fools by R. Clifton Spargo (30 minutes)

Wednesday During Break: Missing Mom by Joyce Carol Oates
Wednesday 7-8 pm: Missing Mom by Joyce Carl Oates
Before Bed: Beautiful Fools by R. Clifton Spargo (30 minutes)

Thursday Morning 9-10: Missing Mom by Joyce Carol Oates
Break: Beautiful Fools by R. Clifton Spargo
Thursday Night 7-8: Missing Mom by Joyce Carol Oates

I checked out two books by Ms. Oates while I signed up for Paperbookswap last night. I sent off two books this morning. I had planned out how much it cost but the envelopes were either too small or the books were too thick (Probably the latter) and I couldn’t fit them into the cheaper envelopes. A very nice lady offed to pay the $1.50 for the second package. See that’s what I love about Louisiana. Most people are willing to lend a hand. I wish I could pay her back.

So that is up with me my pretties. What about you? Any new checkouts from the library?

We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates review

We Were the MulvaneysWe Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My journey to reading this book started back in December. I wasn’t looking for this book necessarily but I was looking for a book by Ms. Oates. I had read her Wiki article. She fascinated me. She who wrote in different genres and was writing more.

So when I went to the library and I happened upon the fiction section I spotted this book in her section. I don’t know what exactly made me pick it up honestly. There were a few others but I chose this one.

So I started reading it. My interest was teased when Judd says they had committed a crime? So my mind starts whirling. What crime? What did they do?

So I kept on reading. I think what most stuck out to me about this reading experience was how excited I was to turn the page. I love that feeling. I was excited to read this book. I didn’t gulp it down in one sitting but I read it over the last three weeks. Quite awhile but I think I was savoring it.

I just finished it and the last harkens back to the title. And I feel like it fits. I really loved this book and I will definitely buy my own copy. I’m looking forward to read more Ms. Oates work. She certainty has talent.

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A quick note about this. I know it has an L in it but in my head I pronounce it as Mulhoney or something like that. I really rec this book. It was a good and satisfying read.

Two Poetry Reviews

The Dead and the LivingThe Dead and the Living by Sharon Olds

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first of Sharon Olds. I picked it because I read an article where she was listed among the great modern confessional poets. I’ve recently found myself influenced by Plath and I wanted to learn more about the genre she helped make famous. These poems are intensely personal and a lot of them seem to center around the father figure. All in all I thought this was a good collection and it definitely gives me an idea of her work. I checked this out from the library but I think that when I cane I will add some of her work to my personal collection.

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What the Living Do: PoemsWhat the Living Do: Poems by Marie Howe

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Second book of modern confessional poems. I liked these much better than Sharon Olds. I can’t explain exactly why but it spoke more to me. I’m not even sure what I mean by that but I feel more satisfied after reading these than I did Ms. Olds yesterday.

I’m definitely looking into more of Ms. Lowe’s poems.

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I came across these authors on a HupPages article about confessional poets. I have lately found my own poems been influenced by the confessional style especially Plath’s work. Her Daddy poem really resonated with me.

I like Marie Howe’s book better though the content was similar but sort of not. Both women have distinctive voices but I responded more to Howe’s book.

Act I: Completed

About three days ago I reached a milestone. I had written 20,000 words of my book. I was so excited and I still am when I look down at the word count box. I swear I never thought I would write that much on one thing. I was seriously doubtful that I would reach that length. I started this book way back in July of last year and there was only one page with about 300 words. I abandoned it a few times but I always came back to it. The latest time I came back to it I had about 15K. I’m not going to lie it felt like a chore to write it but then suddenly I started to get excited. I was getting to the parts I most wanted to write. One of my chapters reached 4K. I had set myself a goal of writing 2K but chapter 5 was probably my favorite to write. That chapter just flowed from my fingertips. Since then I’ve been writing steadily on it. I reached 21K today. I can reach my projected 65K in about sixty days if I write 800 a day and for the last three days I’ve done that.

 

I’m still making time for other things. I write on the manuscript while I wait for the Sims to load (They have bitten again. Alya just had a baby and Amina entered politics). I read about 40 minutes at night. On Tuesday I took the pretest for the HiSet (A equivalency test that replaced the GED here in Louisiana) and today I volunteered. I’m learning to schedule myself better. One of my nurses at the psych hospital told me that I need structure and she was right. When I got home without having to go to school any longer I craved the structure of the hospital. I’m extremely glad to have it back in some form. Generally I’m a mess without it. 

 

I also entered my short story, One Small Step, in the Critical Mass 2 contest presented by ArtSpace. I worked hard on it and it went through six drafts but I’m pretty happy with what I wrote. I don’t know if it’ll win but I’ll be extremely happy if it does. 2014 seems like it’ll be a good year for me. 2009-2013 were terrible years mostly in the summer when it seemed like bad things struck me and my family. But I think that ended around August after I got the news that my uterus was alright and the panic attack faded away. Hopefully these next few years will be good to me. I hope they’re good to you all as well.

They Call Her Emily

And Emily is my new therapist. I switched from my old center to a new one this month. My first appointment is on Thursday.

Though I do still get anxious sometimes when I’m alone usually at night I have been feeling much better. I’ve been taking my meds on time and sleeping through the night. I don’t feel so angry and irritable and I’m being much nicer to my grandmother which she surely appreciates.

This January is also special in another way. I’m starting volunteering and I’m planning on going to adult education classes so I can finally after putting it off earn my GED (Well it’s the HiSet in my state now but that’s a convoluted story.)

I’ve been more active. I’m sorta kinda making friends here in the city. I’m trying to get my life back in order. When I say bipolar completely fucked over my life. I’m not exaggerating. It completely threw a wrench in my plans and I made some mistakes but I’m better now. I’m ready to move on now.

Until the next update!

2nd Draft…?

I started a second draft of my manuscript now titled as Art or Die. I had a serious title for my story which I’m envisioning as a coming of age plus young adult romance. But then I started thinking up names for other stuff and basically the title was too serious.

Art or Die concerns 16 year old Chloe Parker an aspiring young artist. Her parents are professionals that don’t think art is a suitable career. The story opens with Chloe meeting Jordana who has moved to Pinewood with her family to help her ailing grandfather. Norene, the Queen B of the 10th grade, doesn’t take too kindly to Jordana whom Chloe has been spending more time with. Chloe is caught between her loyalty to Norene and her burgeoning feelings for Jordana.

 

I have 50 pages of my original manuscript. I started it back in June 2013 with like the first page before I really started writing on it. I started outlining after the first chapter. I like the first draft but from what I have written of Art or Die I like the tone better. So do I continue to write on the first draft so I’ll have a blueprint or do I finish outlining Art or Die? Hmmm the choices…