Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It's October Now...

As much as I love the holiday, I opted not to participate in the Countdown to Halloween this year.  It was mainly because of last year when I was working long hours, causing me to miss some days on the countdown last year. I suspected more of the same would happen this year.  For one week I worked 18 hours overtime and was exhausted beyond description.  A week later, I only worked three days, still staying till 2AM.  But now I've off for almost a week now and have had plenty time to blog.  But another reason was that in the past when I participated in the countdown, my posts got repetitive and sometimes I had little to say on some days.  And last year I was afraid of not getting the day off, but I ddi as I'd asked (and I've already requested it off for this year).  But it was raining on Halloween last year.  Not too bad, we needed some rain since we've been in a drought.  But that night at the local bar, the celebration was cut short when the power went out after 10PM.  All the patrons were freaked.  I'm pretty sure I'll get it off this year, and that this year may just be better.  

On another note, my orange lights I've hung in my kitchen window the last few years have burned out so my window won't be decorated as it always has been.  Going to miss seeing this in my window.

But although I won't be participating in the countdown, I do plan to blog about some of my plans for the holiday.  I've just decided on a costume and began looking for parts today at thrift stores. Only found a few so far, and will keep looking.  In addition to Goodwill, my town has several other second-hand stores that are only open on certain days of the week.  I'm hoping I don't have to go out of town for this, but will do so if necessary.  Will tell you what I'm going to be later.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Some Changes This Year

halloween night

As you know, the fall season is upon us now, though in my neck in the woods it still feels a little like summer. It's been quite hot!  The fall season means Halloween is just around the corner.  It's already up at most stores now.  My town didn't get the Spirit Store like we did last year, but I wasn't surprised.  We rarely get those things and we hadn't had once since 1999, so having one last year came as a bit of a shock.  But it was quite convenient--no driving out of town for one.  And now I'll have to do just that.  But likely I will just settle for what is available at Kmart,  or make up something from Goodwill or another thrift store we have in this town.

All that being said, I decided not to participate in the Countdown to Halloween this year as you may have seen on my blog in the past six years.  As much as I love the holiday, blogging each day has become difficult.  Working long hours last year made me miss some days and it looks like the same will be true this year.  Also, I've noticed my countdown posts have become repetitive each year.  How many times can I blog about how women's costumes always have to be so skimpy; wondering why they place army jackets and scouting uniforms in the Halloween costume racks at thrift stores;  what TV shows to watch for the season, etc.  And I think I may have used up all the Halloween and fall-related quizzes at Blogthings.   I will try to put up some stuff for Halloween, though, just not every single day.  I will in some way have my own countdown and will anticipate the holiday as always. And I will try to srtat decorating next weekend, since the first falls on Thursday this year and I want to have them up all month.  And in case you haven't seen yet, the holiday itself is on Saturday this year.  

Another thing I need to get working on is the post for the reading challenge I'm planning for next year.  Again, I would like some advice on how to do this sort of thing.  I need to know how to make images for my post and would like advice on what linking service is cheapest for at least a year.  If you can help me on these matters, I'd very much appreciate it. I really want to do this and want to get my post up in either November or December and hope to get some participants.  And I will add it to Novel Challenge  as well.  And I am participating in the Halloween Reading Challenge at Reading Every Season, which goes quite well  the Reading Bites and Witches and Witchcraft challenges I've already been doing.

Happy fall season everyone!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

2015 Halloween Reading Challenge

Going to do this one when it begins in October, of course :-)  Since it's already up, I'm signing up now.  Go to Reading Every Season to sign up.

I am really excited to announce the 2015 Halloween Reading Challenge! I have been looking forward to this reading challenge ever since I started the blog.

This reading challenge will take place in the month of October. I will be also be hosting a screamathon (horror themed readathon) Oct 17 - 23. An announcement post and sign ups for the #ScreamathonRES will be posted soon.

How the Halloween Reading Challenge Works:

  • This is a design it yourself challenge. I want you to choose your own reading goals. This is a low pressure challenge meant to be fun.
  • The books can be horror, thriller, supernatural, mystery, or Halloween themed. This means they should be about serial killers, murders, ghosts, demons, witches, monsters, vampires, etc. 
  • When you have reviewed a book, you are encouraged to come back to this post and add the link to your review in the comments.
Additional Rules: 

  • This challenge runs Oct 1 - Oct 31.
  • You may sign up anytime during the challenge. 
  • I won't be creating different levels. Read as little or as many books as you want. 
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks. 
  • Books may be YA, adult, nonfiction, mystery, chick lit, romance, etc. but must be horror, thriller, mystery, supernatural, or subjects that have to with Halloween. 
  • You may reread books. 
  • Books may count towards other reading challenges. 
  • Use the hashtag #Halloween2015RES
  • If you could be so kind, please place the Halloween Reading Challenge banner on your blog to help spread the word. 
  • Please link back to this blog, post about it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.
  • You may sign up using your blog, Youtube channel, Goodreads, Twitter, etc. 

Here is what I'll be reading:

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Planning to Host My First Reading Challenge Next Year

After years of participating in other people's reading challenges, I decided a couple months ago to take a stab at hosting one of my own next year.  I mentioned this in an earlier post in June.

I've thought of doing this since I began doing challenges in 2013.  But no real idea for one hit me until recently.  I knew I did not need to do one based on themes such animals, mysteries, romance, colors, food and such, since plenty of those challenges exist already. And there are already plenty of those consisting of lists or Bingo-like grids with categories such as "your favorite childhood book," "a Pulitzer-prize winning book," or "a book with a number in the title."  I love these challenges and do them all the time, but I wanted to do something different.  I just didn't know what until now.

I'm still keeping the idea under wraps until I get my sign-up post done.  I hope to have it up in either November or December when all the blogs begin posting their challenges for the coming year.  But I will tell you this--whatever your preferred reading genre(s) is/are, you will find something that fits what I have planned.  And I am surprised no one else ever came up with the idea I have planned.  Stay tuned to my blog to see what it will be about.   I will be including the post on A Novel Challenge as well,  once it is done.

Meanwhile, I need some help getting started. I asked this at the end of the blogpost linked in the first paragraph.  I need to know where I can get pictures to but on my blogpost and which link up service is cheapest to use for up to a year.  And how I can modify images without Photoshop.  I've looked on these two sites already for images: Dreamtime Stock Photography and  FreeDigitalPhotos.net.  This will all be something new to me,  that is why I am planning now. (I've actually had the idea since May).  Any help for this will be appreciated.  Please leave a comment below with any help you can give me.  TIA.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

My Year in Reading So Far

The year is nearly half-over which seems unbelievable.  I've joined a few too many challenges (at least it seems that way) but have completed several already.  I enjoy it, so I guess that's the important thing. Trying to resist joining any more, even short-term ones, but now I  just might have more time for those.   More on that in a while.
Outlander (Outlander, #1)

On a side note, I finally gave into reading Outlander.  So many people whose blogs I follow and those I'm following on Goodreads have read this.  So far I've read just the first book.  It's a long series of chunksters so I plan to take my time.  Not yet in a hurry to read book number two just yet, but will eventually.  My mom has the books so need to buy or get them from the library.

Having read this book, I managed to complete all 12 categories in the Eclectic Reader Challenge in only the first six months of the year.  This brought my completed challenges up to eight as of yesterday.   I'd decided a week earlier to call the Southern Literature Challenge completed since I maxed out the levels on that one.

One unfortunate thing I've been encountering with my challenges is seeing the blogs hosting the challenges get deleted.  The blog that hosted the Reading Bites vampire reading challenge was deleted while ago, but the challenge was picked up by a new blog in May.  And just last week I was informed in an email from Tracy from the blog  Cornerfolds that she was picking up the Dystopian Reading Challenge since the original blog has been deleted.  (I had not noticed that before getting the email).

But at least these two challenges have been picked up so I can continue with them.  I've gotten into reading both vampire and dystopian novels over the last year or two and would have been sad to see these two go.  I would have gladly have called them complete, however, if they had not been picked up.  This is what I had to do with two other challenges I signed up for this year.  One was the Curvy Heroine Reading Challenge, which I looked forward to when I saw it on a Novel Challenge last December.  I knew it was just for me.  Unfortunately, I noticed some time ago that though the blog still exists, the link to the challenge has disappeared.  After deciding for some time, I decided today to just call this one off.   The same was true for the Mental Illness Awareness Reading Challenge.  Having my own mental issues, I looked forward to participating in this one.  But the blog was deleted several months ago, and today (after I finished listening to the audiobook Devil in the Details, which I got for $3 at Goodwill last month), I decided to call this one complete.  As far as I know, no one is picking up either of these challenges, both of which I would have continued if that had been the case.

All the above being said, I'm still deciding if I will join any short-term challenges. I have some ending soon.  The Bookish Bingo Spring Edition is over at the end of this month, and I believe the blog will be hosting a summer one.  I'd passed on the Winter one.

And while I'm on the subject of reading challenges, there is something I've been wanting to do--host a challenge of my own. That I plan to do next year.  I came up with an idea for one a while ago, but am keeping my theme under wraps until I am ready to make my post official.  Since most blogs begin announcing their challenges for the upcoming year in November or December, I hope to get mine up then.  I'm taking the next few months to find reading suggestion links, an image for my post and to decided what link service to use.  Those who have hosted challenges before--can you give me some ideas on what link to use and where to find pictures, and how to put your info on the photos.  I must admit I'm still using an older computer and have never used Photoshop :-)  What else can you do for this?  Thanks in advance  for any ideas. And as I said, I'm keeping my idea under wraps for now :-)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Semi-Charmed Summer 2015 Book Challenge

I'm doing this challenge now, too.  It's hosted by Megan at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life, and is a summer-only challenge, beginning in May and ending on August 31.   I'm sure I can do this one now too.  Click above to sign up and see more information.

  • The challenge will run from May 1, 2015, to August 31, 2015. No books that are started before 12 a.m. on May 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on August 31 will count.
  • Each book must be at least 200 pages long. Audiobooks and large-print books are fine, as long as the regular print versions meets this length requirement.
  • A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be completed once. If you want to switch the category of a book during a later check-in, that's fine, just be sure to account for that in your point total.
  • Rereads can be used for a maximum of three books in the challenge. This rule is meant to encourage you to try new books while still allowing you to revisit books from your childhood or young adulthood that you might get more out of now. Please reread the entire book within the timeframe of the challenge in order to count it; no simply finishing old books or partial rereads.
  • The highest possible total is 200 points, and the first five people who finish the challenge will be invited to contribute a category for the next challenge.

And now for the exciting part: the challenge categories!

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules.
The Mother-Daughter Book Club--Heather Vogel Frederick (book never heard of before) (completed 5/29) 3 stars, 237 pages 
10 points: Read a book you have never heard of before.
Blue Ridge Reunion--Mia Ross  (completed 5/25)  3 stars, 288 pages

10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years.
1st to Die--James Patterson  (completed 6/27) 3 stars, 462 pages

10 points: Read a book that won a Goodreads “Best Book” award in 2014.
The Book of Life--Deborah Harkness (completed 6/24) 3 stars, 561 pages

15 points: Read a book by an author who is completely new to you.
The Martian--Andy Weir  (completed 5/13) 3 stars, 369 pages

15 points: Read a book by an author you have read before. (No re-reads for this one.)  Art Geeks and Prom Queens--Alyson Noel  (completed 5/14) 4 stars, 240 pages

15 points: Read a book with "light" or "dark" in the title. (Or "lightness" or "darkness.")
Light of the Moon--Luanne Rice (completed 5/23) 4 stars, Audio (400 pages on hardcover)

20 points: Read a book with the name of a city, state or country in the title. Edited to add: The place must be real, either current or historical, but not fictional.  The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul--Deborah Rodriguez  (completed 5/19) 3 stars, 304 pages

20 points: Read a book with an animal on the cover.  Murder Past Due--Miranda James (completed 6/25) 3 stars, 304 pages

25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books.
Storm Front--Jim Butcher (completed 6/3) 3 stars, 372 pages

25 points: Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long.
A Salty Piece of Land--Jimmy Buffett  (completed 5/5) 3 stars, 544 pages

30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title. (All words in the title must begin with the same letter; no exceptions for articles or prepositions. Examples: Gone Girl or Nicholas Nickleby. Yes, this is tough, which is why it's worth the most points!)  
Hush, Hush--Becca Fitzpatrick (completed 6/20) 3 stars, 391 pages

.... Challenge completed June 27.....