741 / 88100 words. 1% done!

This is the main post where I'll update my writing goals progress throughout the year. My progress may not always be reflected acurately in real-time because I tend to track in multiple different places, often with a piecemeal approach. I decided on a word count goal of at least 88,100 words to write during the year. I'm also participating in the Get Your Words Out Habit Challenge for the second time this year. I pledged a goal of at least 120 days during the year, which is the same goal I pledged last year. I'll probably be more vigilant about tracking my word count on here, since I need to do check-ins every month for the Habit challenge, and since I also track the Habit Goal with a habit tracking app (that's unrelated to GYWO). But I'm going to try to do both here, as well as possibly tracking my writing marathon progress -- or at least the results of the writing marathons I do. I think that may be easier than the quarterly progress reports I tried to do, though I'll probably try to do them, too. For the sake of my spoons, I'll try to wait to update the habit and marathon goals monthly, as opposed to daily. 

Days Written or Working on Writing in 2019:

January: 4

February: 3

March:

First Quarter:

April:

May:

June:

Second Quarter:

July:

August:

September:

Third Quarter:

October:

November:

December:

Third Quarter:

Number of Days I Wrote or Worked on Writing in 2019 Total:

Writing Marathons Other Than Get Your Words Out:

The Artist's Way (12 Week program -- I'll be doing during January, February, and March because that is the only three month stretch that I won't be attempting to participate in another writing marathon this year -- aside from GYWO, which can contain the other marathons within it):

April CampNaNoWriMo (goal 10,000 words):

July CampNaNoWriMo (goal 10,000 words):

3 Day Novel Labor Day Weekend (goal write a novel or novella):

November NaNoWriMo (goal 50,000 words):

The Writer's Games (I haven't actually tried these yet and may not this year, but I'd like to):




[sticky entry] Sticky: Books Read In 2019

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019 03:26 am
 This is my post to keep track of the books I've read in 2019. I am participating in Novel Knight's Beat the Backlist Challenge for the second time this year. I am also going to list sections in this post for books on my TBR list that don't qualify for this year's Beat the Backlist for various reasons. 

Books that don't qualify for Beat the Backlist 2019:


Books I started reading in 2018 and finished in 2019:


*Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce Sometime in February, 2019


Books I read in 2019 that were published in 2019:

My Life Among the Underdogs Tia Torres (audiobook format) 3/23/19


Books I started reading in 2019, but didn't finish in 2019:




Books that do qualify for Beat the Backlist 2019:


*Collared: The Story of a Sir and Her Priest by Melissa Cohen (ebook format) 3/10/19

 It's close enough to April that this could almost function as a quarterly update, except that I hope to write a lot more in March.

*I've quit trying to do The Artist's Way this year. I started it, but I just kept getting further and further behind. The beginning of the year was fairly hectic (we moved towards the middle to end of December last year and between chronic illnesses and limited finances, our apartment still isn't all the way put together yet). As of right now, I think I'd like to try again next year. But I may have to read all the way through the book once before I attempt to complete the program in it.

*So far, I am way behind on my Get Your Words Out Goal for the year. I pledged 120 days and have only written on (I think) 10 of them.

*I'm also way behind on my personal Annual Word Count Goal for the year. I set a goal of 88,100 words and I have only written one percent of the words of my goal so far.

*I have only finished reading two books so far this year (that I can remember at the moment, anyway). I'm close to finishing two audiobboks, and while I'm not as worked up about finishing books in audio format as I am about books in a physical format, I'd like to finish them soon for the sake of clearing my queue. I'm also very goal (as opposed to process) oriented and tend to get overwhelmed and have issues with executive function, so it'll help provide a sense of accomplishment and perhaps momentum to finish more of the books in physical formats on my to-be-read list.

*There are a few books I want to read, or add to my to-be-read list, but I want to wait until I've finished reading more of the books I'm currently reading first. I'll try to write more about them and about the books I'd like to get this year or in the future in another blog post. But for now, suffice it to say that I'm not currently rereading any physical copies of books and I'm not currently reading any fantasy books in physical formats,and I'd like to change both of those things -- but it would really be better if I could whittle down my "currently reading" list a bit first.

*I've made progress on my currently reading book list, but I feel like it's been very slow. Aside from the two books I finished this year and the audiobooks I've been listening to, the books I've read the most of have been: 1. Besom, Stang and Sword by Christopher Orapello and Tara-Love Maguire 2. The Path of Paganism by John Beckett and 3. The Earth Path by Starhawk.

*I missed the Get Your Words Out monthly check in for February (a lot was going on, and my memory isn't great anymore), so I have to be extra careful not to miss it for March.
 This post is pretty much what it says on the tin. I need to get it through my head that I just can't read as many books concurrently as I used to be able to before I got sick. So far, I have not learned that lesson as well as I need to. I just don't have the focus, concentration, or speed to read as quickly as I used to, nor for as long. And I don't have the memory any longer to be able to switch between books and keep them all straight in my head, nor -- if I get overwhelmed with reading too many books at once -- to stop reading a book, pick it up later, and remember where I was and what I had already read. And I am currently reading far more books than what is manageable for me these days. So here is a list of what I'm reading (I may forget things and have to update the list later). I want to finish these, or at least most of them, before I start reading other things. Or if I don't finish any of them, I at least want to decide I'm not going to finish them and them move on to something else. Also, as a note, I'm not including audiobooks in this list. For one thing, almost all of the audiobooks I'm reading at any given time are rereads, and for another, the number of audiobooks I'm currently in the middle of is far less than the number of physical books. Without further ado:

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce *Finished!*

Besom, Stang, and Sword by Tara-Love Maguire and Christopher Orapello

The Earth Path: Grounding Your Spirit in the Rhythms of Nature by Starhawk

The Healing Terrain: Coming Home to Nature's Medicine by Jesse Wolf Hardin, Kiva Rose, and Others

Unfuck Your Habitat; You're Better Than Your Mess by Rachel Hoffman

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron *Removed from List for this Year*

The Right to Write by Julia Cameron

A Pine Barrens Odyssey: A Naturalist's Year in the New Jersey Pine Barrens by Howard P. Boyd

The Path of Paganism: An Experience-Based Guide to Modern Pagan Practice by John Beckett

Playing With Fire: An Exploration of Loki Laufeyjarson by Dagulf Loptson

The Mindfulness Solution for Intense Emotions: Take Control of Borderline Personality Disorder with DBT by Cedar R. Coons

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield


And two that I just started, that I think I'd rather go on with others before continuing with in earnest:

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Eva Luna by Isabel Allende


In the future, I think I need to keep my "currently reading" collection of physical books to a maximum of four or five at a time, and possibly less. I'm also fairly confident from previous experience that I always want to have at least one book in my currently reading stack be a re-read, and specifically usually something I've read enough times (and enough times before the memory loss got really bad) that it doesn't require much concentration. I also want it to be something enjoyable and comforting, in addition to familiar and easily processed. I also ideally want one of the books I'm reading at any given time to be a fantasy or possibly sci-fi -- something absorbing and distracting that I can get lost in. But I also think I want to try to limit myself to two fantasies at a time, if possible. Since a lot of my old favorites are fantasy, and it's still one of my favorite genres, that will usually mean my two at a time are accounted for between my old re-read and a new-to-me (or at least newer-to-me) fantasy. I also want to keep it to a maximum of one really difficult book at a time (for me these days, that is mostly really dense books, those that use a lot of large words or technical language, and complicated reads. But it can also sometimes encompass books that are really difficult for me to read due to their subject matter, style, or genre, or due to their layout and/or punctuation. Good examples of what I mean are: Greek Religion by Walter Burkert, The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien (or any Tolkien now that I think of it), and Cottonmouth Kisses by Clint Catalyst. The Firekeeper Series by Jane Lindskold is also probably a good example. It stretches over six (I think) volumes, and multiple countries with their own unique laws, customs, and cultures. Each book is several hundred pages long, and some are around a thousand pages. It also has a huge cast of characters. That said, it's not as dense or difficult as LotR, for example, and I may be able to read another complicated book along with it, whereas any Tolkien will fill my quota in that department on it's own -- even though both are favorites of mine. I'd also ideally like to keep it to one religious or spiritual book at a time, though I might be able to swing two. I'd also like to do the same with self-improvement or life-hacking books, unless they are from radically different categories -- for instance, I think I can read a book on cleaning at the same time as one on DBT, but I want to try to avoid reading multiple DBT books (except for workbooks) at a time, or something like a minimalism book at the same time as a cleaning life-hacking book. Just generally speaking, actually, I want to avoid too many books on the same or similar subjects at a time.
 This is the list of books I plan to read in 2019. It's not going to be anywhere near exhaustive at first, and possibly not at all. I am posting a very trimmed down list for the sake of signing up for Novel Knight's Beat the Backlist 2019 Reading Challenge. I participated last year and really enjoyed it, even though I didn't finish anywhere near as many books as I thought or hoped I would. I'll also use this post to keep track of books on my to-be-read list that don't qualify for the challenge for various reasons. On the to-be-read list, I'm going to list the series I want to read as singular entries, but I'll list individual books for my "books read" post. For the challenge, I'm also going to join the Ravenclaw house.

Books on my to-be-read list that do qualify for the 2019 beat the backlist reading challenge:

Stranger Skies by Katje van Loon

The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

The Mists of Avalon series by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Borderlands series by various authors, concept by Terri Windling, I believe

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

The Fairy Queen of Spencer's Butte by Jolene Dawe

They Walk With Us by John T. Mainer

Bellica by Katje van Loon

Until We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne

Books on my to-be-read list that 
don't qualify for the 2019 beat the backlist reading challenge:

Books I began reading in 2018:

Besom, Stang, and Sword by Chris Orapello and Tara Love Maguire

The Path of Paganism by John Beckett

The Poetic Edda

Playing With Fire: An Exploration of Loki Laufeyjarson by Dagulf Lopston

The Healing Terrain by Jesse Wolf Hardin, Kiva Rose, and other authors

Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce (audiobook format and reread)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (audiobook format and reread)

Blood Bound by Patrica Briggs (audiobook format and reread)

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce (combination of audiobook and hardback book formats)

The Right to Write by Julia Cameron


Books published in 2019:


Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs


Books I started in 2018, but didn't finish until 2019:









CW: hospitalization, chronic illness, dysfunctional relationships, ableism

 For Get Your Words Out, I'm really pleased with and proud of myself. I managed to write or work on writing all but two days in November and also for a lot of days in October. October is the first month where I actually met my quota for days writing, though in one other month I wrote for nine days which was one shy. I don't want to be in a rush to meet my quota at the end of next year. I also want to pace myself and I want for writing to be a regular, daily thing for me -- not something I do every once in a while. Having a deadline really helped. So did two books: The Right to Write by Julia Cameron and Write-A-Thon by Rochelle Melander. Those books really helped me to write more often, more fluently, and to be less perfectionist about it. I haven't finished either of them, yet, but I plan to. They both have unintentional ableist elements, especially the latter (which I have done less work from) and many of the exercises are the same or similar, but I found them both to be helpful. I'm hoping to dig into Write-A-Thon in March of 2019 to help me get ready for CampNaNoWriMo in April 2019. I'm also hoping to finish The Right to Write before January, so that in January, February, and March, I can focus on doing the exercises laid out in another book by Cameron, The Artist's Way, which I've read has a writing program in it that takes three months.

I participated in NaNoWriMo in November. I only officially wrote 714 words during it, but as I said earlier I wrote our worked on writing all but two days in November. I even managed to write when I was admitted to the hospital for four days, though to be fair, if I hadn't written shortly after midnight the day I went in (which was before my health crisis hit the tipping point) I probably wouldn't have written that day. I also probably wouldn't have been able to do it if my partner hadn't picked up a notebook and pens for me at the drug store and brought them to me. I am also going through a difficult breakup with someone I've been with for a very long-term relationship. My other (and now only) partner and I are moving out of the house we've lived in for the last five years and that we hoped to live in for the rest of our lives, and my former husband's girlfriend is moving in with him when we move out. There are lots of other complications, too, mostly involving health, but not all of them. So because of those things, I'm considering NaNoWriMo 2018 a win and a personal victory for me.

I didn't even come close to meeting my personal word count goal for the year. I believe I'm at about a quarter of the way done. When the deadline for the word count goal arrived, I decided to extend it until December 31st, which I had been debating doing. That gives me more time to meet my goal (though I still doubt I will) and it also lets me start my future word count goals on January 1st, which makes more logical sense and is when most people do them from. It'll also let me keep track of them as a secondary stat along with my writing days for next year's Get Your Words Out. The days and the words still probably won't line up, but it'll be more even and easier to keep track of.

Writing more frequently has definitely made it much easier for me to write and to want to write. Not that it's necessarily made my writing any better, but it's helped me write more often, in more places, and with less difficulty. It's made it much easier for me to get over resistance to writing.


I've missed too many days of writing this year to meet my Get Your Words Out habit goal of at least 120 days this year. But I'm going to try to be as few days short of my goal as possible.

I'm disappointed that I've only read fifteen books so far over the course of the year, which works out to one book and a quarter each month. It particularly irks me because before I got sick, I used to read a book a day -- occasionally every other day or every three days if it  was a book that was long, complicated, dense, or difficult to understand, or if I had more things to do than normal, which cut into my reading time. I am really peevish about this, and wrathful that I don't remember nearly as much as I used to -- including what I read. It is largely internalized ableism on my part, and I'm trying to get over it, but it really aggravates me. It seemed like Novel Knight stopped running the Beat the Backlist challenge partway through the year, though I could have been mistaken. I kept keeping track on here, though. But there is a signup for next year, so I'm definitely going to do that, as well as the Get Your Words Out writing challenge again. And next year, I'll also attempt to participate in both CampNaNoWriMos, NaNoWriMo, and the 3 Day Novel Contest. For Get Your Words Out, I'll do the Habit Challenge again, if it's available. I am not sure if I'm going to stick with 120 days, or if I'm going to move to 240 days. Additonally, I'm going to set an annual word count goal for myself that I've already worked out the math for. And I'm going to try to take part in The Writer's Games, if I'm able to, if I remember in time, and if I can figure out how to, because their website really confuses me for some reason.

I listed my mood as "irritated", which is true, but it has more to do with life circumstances and hormonal fluctuations than it does with the lion's share of what I wrote about.

Content Warning, brief mention of medical problems, doctors, and menstruation.

My third quarter Get Your Words Out totals are as follows:

July -- 3 days

August -- 1 day

September -- 5 days

Just Third Quarter Total -- 9 days

Total for Year up to End of Third Quarter -- 40 days

I realized at the beginning of October that I only had either 12 or 10 days that I could miss writing for the whole rest of the year (admittedly three months) and still meet my word count goal. I started really applying myself and have been making much more progress. The help of the book The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life by Julia Cameron has been invaluable with helping me. I also expect Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It) by Rochelle Melander, which I just got, to be helpful as well. The two books seem to have a lot of similar exercises in them, and the latter references the former, but there are differences. I like the style and layout of the first book, but I'm especially hoping the second one is helpful with NaNoWriMo, which is coming up fast. Even with applying myself (though I admittedly could have tried harder on at least a couple of days), I still missed six days in October, after I realized I could only miss another 10 or 12 for the rest of the year. And I don't expect to make my goal to be honest, because that means I can only miss four more days. I have lots of doctor's appointments, a bunch of medical issues, a horrible monthly menstrual cycle, and I'm going to be moving sometime in the next three months. But I am determined to try. And I am still pretty pleased and proud of myself. At the beginning of the year, I was very afraid that I wouldn't remember to write at all, or that I was doing the challenge, or to check in for the monthly check-ins. And it looks like I haven't missed one check in, even though a lot was going on some of the time. I think there was even only one time that i did the check-in on the last possible day. Normally I tried to do it on the first, though the second and I think third happened to. I'm also proud for applying myself so well this month, especially as I am going through a tumultuous time of personal life upheaval. But it's good because I need the help that comes from writing even more now. I'm very, very proud because October is the first month this year that I met my word count goal in, and I've kept going after that. So far, I've written or worked on writing 13 days this month.

 My Figures for the number of days I wrote or worked on writing in the second quarter are as follows:

April -- 9 days

May -- 6 days

June -- 7 days
 
Total of Just Second Quarter -- 22 days

Total of first and Second Quarters -- 31 days


My 2018 Reading List

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018 11:48 pm
 This is a list of the books I want to read in 2018, with some caveats:

1. Other than the first five or six books, which are the ones I'm currently reading as I initially type this post, the books are in no particular order. Actually, they are in order -- other than the ones I'm reading now, they are in four stacks, with each stack arranged from larger books at the bottom to smaller books at the top (one of my partners, who is great with visual-spatial stuff, kindly organized them for me, who is...not). So after the books I'm reading, I'll start the list with the books on the top of the stack closest to me, and work my way down and then out. After the initial list is complete, I'll just add any books that I add later onto the bottom of the list.
2. It may take me more than one sitting to type up all the books on the initial list.
3. The initial list is not my complete list. There are so many books that I want to read, that they won't all fit on the stacks, and I'm already pretty intimidated because it's a lot of books and I don't read nearly as fast as I used to, nor are my comprehension and retention great anymore. Just as I'll remove books to add to my list of books I read and possibly to my list of books I quit reading, I'll also add books to the list throughout the year. Most of them will either be books that I already own and are on my agenda to read, but that aren't added to the stack yet, or that were temporarily taken off to make more room and to make me less overwhelmed -- or books that I want to read, that I don't own yet, but that I buy later in the year.
4. I'm only going to list books that I own, that I've borrowed from a library or person, or possibly that I've ordered and that have shipped, but that haven't arrived yet.
5. In an effort to keep myself from getting overwhelmed, exhausted, and frustrated, I'm not going to categorize the books on my to-be-read list. I'm already getting frazzled because so many of the books on my list fit in so many categories and it has been/will be hard to decide how to categorize many of them for my "finished reading" list.
6. For the same reason as number 5, I'm going to list series as one entry, with the name of the "book" being the name of the series, along with the number of books in the series (if I know/remember), unless I have a really good reason not to.
7. For similar reasons, I don''t think I'm going to number the list, even though I might find it helpful later. It's just too daunting of  prospect right now, and numbers give me difficulty, even in numerical order.
8. I'm not going to include audiobooks in this list. I'm usually reading far less audiobooks at a time than I am hard copies. I am also really bad at multi-tasking, so pretty much the only thing I can do at the same time as listening to an audiobook is knit. I do that sometimes, but usually when I'm listening to audiobooks, I'm in really bad shape mentally, emotionally, physically, or some combination of all three. A disproportionate number of my audiobooks are re-reads, And they don't take up any space when they are off the shelves. So for all of those reasons, I'm not usually in any particular hurry to finish audiobooks. I will include them on my "read" list, though, when I finish any that weren't released this year.
9. I'm also not going to include ebooks on this list, though, again, I'll mark down any that I finish on my "read list". The same thing applies as to audiobooks, about them taking up less space. But the main reason is that I don't buy a lot of audiobooks, and when i do, it takes me forever to finish them because I can't look at screens for a very long stretch at a time -- which is probably not what most people would consider a long stretch, though what I can handle does vary somewhat. When I over-do it, I get headaches that often become migraines, extreme nausea, eye pain, disorientation or a "fuzzy brain" feeling, and can even have seizures. It seems to be a genetic thing, as an immediate relative has the same problem. I usually wind up debilitated for anywhere from hours to days. However, I love reading, and sometimes I get caught up in it and lose track (which I sometimes do with a small handful of videogames I really like, too) -- so I usually try my best to avoid the problem entirely, especially because reading a book on a screen takes away from me doing other stuff on screens that can't be done or can't be easily done on paper like reading blog posts and watching television shows and movies. There are exceptions, though -- I do buy audiobooks if it's a book I want that doesn't have a physical or audiobook version. I also sometimes buy audiobooks that are books I really want to read and that are drastically cheaper than the physical copy. If I like them, I usually buy a physical copy, too, and if not, I don't. Kindle and authors also occasionally have promotional free ebooks and if I find out about them and they're fantasy or a subject I'm interested in, I usually download them and, again, if I like them and there is a physical or audiobook copy, I buy that.
10. If I don't get to any of the books, I'll probably add them on to next year's list.
11. Because I'm participating in Novel Knight's Beat the Backlist Challenge for 2018, I'm not including any books I want to read that were released this year on this list. I have a separate blog post with the list of those books on it.

Okay, here we go:

Planescape Torment by Ray and Valerie Vallese
The Earth Path by Starhawk
The Alchemy of Illness by Kay Duff
Unf*uck Your Habitat by Rachel Hoffman
The Mindfulness Solution for Intense Emotions by Cedar R. Coons
Christy by Catherine Marshall
A Pine Barrens Odyssey by Howard P. Boyd
Casting a Queer Circle by Thista Minai
Dahlia Season by Myriam Gurba
Playing With Fire by Dagulf Loptson
Lou Sullivan by Brice D. Smith
On Divination by Galina Krasskova
The Cauldron Cill Brighid Devotional by Cauldron Cill
A Naturalist Along the Jersey Shore by Joanna Burger
Between the Worlds by Sarah Kate Istra Winter
Trans Homo..Gasp! edited by Avi Ben-Zeev
Brilliant Imperfection by Eli Clare
Walt Whitman's America by David S. Reynolds
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
The Book of the Great Queen by Morpheus Ravenna
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Edgar Allen Poe A Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance by Kenneth Silverman
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
The Inner Sky by Steven Forrest
Paint It Black by Janet Fitch
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay
Spiritual Protection by Sophie Reicher
Animism Respecting the Living World by Graham Harvey
Kharis by Sarah Kate Istra Winter
Planescape Pages of Pain by Troy Denning
Planescape The Blood War Trilogy by J. Robert King (3 book series)
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
The Poetic Edda translated by Carolyne Larrington
The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturlson
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende
The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King (7 book series)
Facing the Darkness by Cat Treadwell
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by Hilda Roderick Ellis Davidson
The Drifters by James Michener
 In addition to just the odd general Get Your Words Out update, I'd really like to post quarterly updates. Obviously, I missed the first quarterly update by a mile, but I'm going to post it now.

I signed up for the Habit Pledge, with a pledge to write, or work on writing related tasks for at least 120 days over the course of the year.

My totals are as follows:

January -- 5 days
February -- 0 days
March -- 4 days
First Quarter -- 9 days
 These are books that are getting published in 2018 and thus don't qualify for the Beat the Backlist reading challenge, but which I want to read. I don't want to forget about them, nor neglect to factor them in when I consider how much I've read this year, so I'm listing them here. It was a big year for releases of books that I want to read. There were three that I can think of off the top of my head. I know at other times when I counted the books getting released this year that I wanted to read, I counted four, but I can't remember what the fourth one was. And then later, I'm pretty sure I heard about a fifth, and possibly sixth one. Unlike my Beat the Backlist list, I'm not going to break this one down into categories. I'll add other books as I remember or discover them.

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs. (read-- finished sometime in February or March 2018) I read this right when it came out. She seems to release one book from each of her werewolf series each year, it also generally seems to be in March, which is pretty cool, because that's right around my birthday. I listened to this one in audiobook format.

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce. Considering that I don't have a lot of money, and a few other considerations, there aren't many authors whose book I would pre-order, but Tamora Pierce is one of them, and that's what I did with this book. I've been reading her books since I was in very early elementary school, and possibly before and I've never stopped. I love her characters, her feminism, and that the Gods in Tortall are real and involved. I love the setting of the Tortall universe books and I love the Temple system and the way magic works in her Circle universe books (though I still have yet to read the second quartet of the Circle books and the non-quartet book in that series). Tempests and Slaughter is in my to-be-read stack. One of my partners read it first since he loves her writing too, and I am reading so many books right now. But I can't wait to start it. The second half of the Circle books is on my agenda, but not currently in my stack. In preparation for reading them, I started to re-read the first quartet, but I only got partway through and eventually stopped because I have so many other books to read and it was kind of intimidating at the time. I hope to get back to it, but I may just pick straight up with the second quartet. I'm hopeful that when I whittle my stack down some, I can add them to it without being so overwhelmed by the prospect. But I also know that if they were Tortall universe books, like Tempests and Slaughter, I'd be in more of rush to read them. I like both universes, but Tortall is definitely my favorite.

Besom, Stang, and Sword by Chris Orapello and Tara Love-Maguire. This is another book that I'd like to pre-order, and if I do, it'll be the third one this year, because I pre-ordered the audiobook of Burn Bright, too. What I said about not often being willing and/or able to pre-order books applies, but it's one of those years. In this case, the authors are fairly local to me and the book is about a subject I'm very interested in -- regional Paganism, specifically regional witchcraft in this case. I've mulled over applying to join their coven many times over the last few years. There are pros and cons to both, assuming it's even feasible, and I'm hoping this book will help me decide whether or not to pursue that further if I haven't taken any further action on the matter by the time it comes out. Also, while it says it can be adapted to any region, I'm hoping some of the flavor of the region we live in is in the book. And, as I said, the subject really interests me. However, I may not be able to pre-order it. I wanted to pre-order John Beckett's The Path of Paganism, too, and I never did that. In fact, I only have a digital copy and have to get a physical one. And even if I do pre-order it, it doesn't come out until December 1st, so I may not get to it until next year, which I suppose works out fine, and it'll apply to the Beat the Backlist Challenge for next year, if that's the case.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. I'm pretty sure this is the main book I forgot when I originally made this post. Holly Black is yet another one of those few authors whose book I would pre-order. I may do it, too. However, there are several other books by her that I haven't read yet, and I want to catch up. Although I am also a big fan of supporting other creative types when possible, and pre-ordering the book she has coming out, would probably help more than ordering her previous books that I missed. It would definitely help more than if I get them used. I buy new copies of books when possible, but I also buy used ones when I can't afford that or when my new book budget got eaten up by books that aren't available used. And obviously, I buy out of print used books. I also don't worry much about it when the author is dead, especially when their works are in the public domain. Anyway, I'd like to pre-order The Cruel Prince and I may, but I may not, especially since it's already a big year for that for me -- I think it's been at least three or four years before this one since I pre-ordered any other book, and possibly longer. I'd also be much more excited about it if it was another book in the Modern Faerie Tales series, though I'm happy that she's starting a new series. I started reading Holly Black in my teens, right when Tithe came out, and along and I love the rest of the books in that trilogy too. She is probably the second most formative YA adult author on me, next to Tamora Pierce who I started reading when I was considerably younger.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I just found out about this last month when Audible recommended it to me. I'm excited about it on many levels -- I'm so glad there is finally getting to be a little more representation of people of color in published books, and I'm especially happy because it's a fantasy book, which along with sci-fi is possibly the most notoriously white-washed genre. The plot sounds amazing, and I am also thrilled because even though I read a lot of fantasy, it's hard to find books even in that genre with a realistic system of indigenous religion, polytheism, paganism, or animism -- and it seems like this book might have that. I can't wait to read it.

When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele. I enjoy reading books involved with social justice and I'm looking forward to reading this, though I expect it will be difficult, as many books dealing social (in)justice, marginalized communities, and the fight for the rights of marginalized communities often are.

Vulture Culture 101 by Lupa. Another instance of a book that I'm eagerly awaiting the release of. Lupa is definitely one of my favorite Pagan authors, and possibly my favorite Pagan author, period.
This is pretty much what it says on the tin, although I may also include any books I stop reading that were published in 2018 (and are thus ineligible for the Beat the Backlist Challenge this year) and books that I started reading in 2017 or earlier (that are therefore also ineligible) and quit reading this year. I may also start rereading, and possibly finish, any of the books I list here over the course of the year, or at a later date. I'll try to generally add a bit about why I stopped reading them.

CONTENT WARNING FOR: Mentions of chronic illnesses -- including mental illnesses, chronic pain, panic, drugs, alcohol, sex, clubbing, apathy, jadedness, and brain fog. Problems with memory, concentration, focus, comprehension, and retention.

Re-reads:

The Onion Girl by Charles DeLint. This is one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. It's one of the books that had the most formative effects on me over the course of my life. It took on even more meaning for me after I became chronically ill with illness other than the mental illnesses I'd had all my life. I often go back to this book for the sake of rereading it for comfort. But it is longish and has a sequel (which admittedly does not need to be read, because The Onion Girl can stand on it's own and did for many years) that I like the ending of better. And mostly, I have four tall piles in my "to be read" stacks, plus a much smaller pile of the the same, plus a couple of the books in one of my partner's "to be read" stacks, and there are other books that I either didn't even put in my piles, or else that I put in and removed. I also have more books being shipped in the mail as I type this, at least two of which I want to add to my stacks. And there are other books that I don't even own yet that I want to add to my list, some of which I have been wanting to read for a long time, some of which I feel are really important for me to read, and some of which are both. I do often reread books in audiobook format that I've read recently, either in a physical copy or an auidocopy (or occasionally in an ebook copy) but that is because a) for some reason, I seem to have a much more difficult time focusing on most fiction, and especially fantasy books in an audiobook format, unless they are either a book I've read before in a hardcopy or unless they are set in a series I'm familiar with and have read physical copies of other books in the same series before; and b) because I often listen to audiobooks as a coping mechanism to deal with mental illnesses, other chronic illnesses, or chronic pain, and/or to distract myself, keep from panicking, and to help me relax and fall asleep. And if I can't concentrate on something, it won't usually help with most of those things. I also read love comfort and familiarity, especially in those situations, so it helps to listen to books I've heard before. I also generally don't want to listen to an entirely new book when I'm trying to fall asleep or might fall asleep, because I'll have more trouble finding my place and I won't know what I missed. As an addendum to this sidetrack I've gotten off on, while thinking about this, I've realized that since I've gotten sick, I've generally had a much easier time focusing on and wanting to read physical copies of fiction and especially fantasy, which is the exact opposite of the problem I have now with audiobooks, where I have a much easier time with nonfiction, unless it's something I'm very familiar with. I wonder why that is. I didn't really listen to audiobooks before I got sick, so I'm not sure how it would have been with them then. However, I didn't have any problems with either fiction or nonfiction physical copies back then.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. My reasons for stopping reading this are almost identical to the reasons why I stopped re-reading The Onion Girl, except that Neil Gaiman is not quite as much one of my favorite authors and the book isn't quite as formative for me, nor have I re-read it as often as The Onion Girl (though all three of those categories are up there). Neverwhere also has the additional consideration that I just reread it last year.

Tris's Book by Tamora Pierce. Again, it's another re-read. In this case, I was re-reading the series partially to give me very simple books to focus on when I can't manage anything else (they are written for young children -- I believe for a younger audience than her Tortall books, though I read most of the Tortall books first) and in preparation for reading the second half of her books set in that universe. I really want to, but with all the other books I was very intimidated and overwhelmed, and it would be a total of nine books to read in one series. I also kept finding myself wanting to read other things while I was reading it and it mostly just sat in the pile going unread because I was saving it for when I had the most difficulty concentrating. Sometimes I read it in those circumstances, but often I couldn't even manage that, and laid down and listened to an audiobook instead.

Multi-Genre:

Cottonmouth Kisses by Clint Catalyst. I've been wanting to read it for a few years and I'm glad I finally bought it. The writing is beautiful. I love at least one of the stories and at least a couple of the poems. I like a lot of the rest. I'm usually really happy to come across books that focus on different counter-cultures or sub-cultures and this wasn't an exception. And there are some amazing quotes and insights in the book. But some of the subject matter is depressing and difficult for me to deal with sometimes -- I often like reading books like that, but I can't read them all the time anymore -- in particular a lot of drugs, sex, clubbing, and sometimes being bored, jaded, and apathetic. It's not that the entirety of the book is that way, and sometimes it's the opposite and it's hard for me to read because it's clear he cares so much. But even though, I am still part of several sub-cultures myself, in many ways I've been there and done that as far as the book goes and it's sometimes hard to read. Also, when coupled with my chronic illnesses the drug and alcohol references sometimes make me faintly queasy. But the main reason I stopped reading it is because, as good as it is, the author doesn't often use much punctuation or capitalization and usually writes in a stream of consciousness style. One of the hardest things for me to cope with since getting sick is the brain fog and what illness has done to my focus, concentration, memory, comprehension and retention. I still love to read, but it's gotten a lot slower and harder for me and I have much more trouble with some genres than others. Stream of consciousness, lack of punctuation, and lack of capitalization were difficult for me before I got sick, and they've gotten exponentially worse afterwards. Poetry never used to difficult for me beforehand, but, even though I still love it, it has become much harder for me to parse. I read a bit more than halfway through the book, and I'm really hoping to be able to go back and finish it one day.

Memoir:

Girl in Need of a Tourniquet: Memoir of a Borderline Personality by Merri Lisa Johnson. This was a partial re-read. I had started it before, and then stopped. I was reading several books at that time, too, though I don't think as many as now, and I almost definitely didn't have as many in my queue as I do now. But if I recall correctly, almost all of them were mental health related, and most (if not all) of the mental health books at the time had to do with Borderline Personality Disorder. It was kind of hard to take. And while the style (both writing and layout) is beautiful, artful, eloquent and moving, it is written in such a way that is difficult for me to follow these days. And the layout would have always made it harder for me to read, due to a particular learning disability I have. And at the time I initially read it, there were other BPD memoirs that were easier for me to read in my stack, so I did that. Like Cottonmouth Kisses, I'm hoping to be able to go back to it again eventually and finish it someday.


21084 / 80000 words. 26% done!

This my annual online word count tracker for Nov. 11th, 2017 to Nov. 11th, 2018. However, I hope to meet my goal before November 1st, so that I can start my annual word count goal for the next year at the same time as NaNoWriMo begins. I may go long stretches without updating it. I primarily keep track of my word count on my writing tablet, and secondarily on my laptop and cell phone. But I like the look of progress bars and there's no other easy way to combine the tracking on my phone, tablet, and laptop. I also like having it up and visible, as this is my designated blog for keeping track of my writing. And as I type this, my tablet, phone, and laptop all have portions of the world count, but none of them has a complete -- and thus accurate -- tally. I'll update this when I get a chance, and then I'll try to keep it current. I should also note that this is a personal goal I set in November of 2017, it isn't my goal for the Get Your Words Out Challenge, for which I chose the Habit (not Word Count) pledge for 2018.
Re-reads:

Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs (From Alpha and Omega series) finished sometime prior to April (in Audiobook format)

The Wood Wife by Terry Windling finished on 4/8/18

First Test by Tamora Pierce (Audiobook and first time in that format) finished on 5/26/18 or 5/27/18

Page by Tamora Pierce (Audiobook and first time in that format) finished on 5/31/18

Squire by Tamora Pierce (Audiobook and first time in that format) finished on 10/14/18

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (Auidobook and first time in that format) I forget when I finished it. Probably sometime in Autumn


Fantasy: 

Torment by Ray and Valerie Vallese finished on 5/29/18

American Gods by Neil Gaiman: Author's Preferred Text finished on 7/15/18


Chronic Illness and Disability:

The Alchemy of Illness by Kat Duff finished on 5/31/18


Religion:

Beyond Reason by Heather Freysdottir finished sometime prior to April

Book of Hours For Daily and and Seasonal Practice by Clann Bhride Children of Brighid finished on 5/13/18

Walking the Heartroad: The Devotional Path for Spirit-Workers by Silence Maestas finished 5/15/18



Mental Health/Mental Illness/Mental Wellness:

Beyond Borderline by John G. Gunderson and Perry D. Hoffman finished on 4/15/18

Conversations on Borderline Personality Disorder edited by Tabitha Martin finished on 4/29/18

Borderline: The Illusion of Insanity by Florence St. John finished sometime in 9/18

Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in Their Struggle for Self by Elan Golomb finished sometime in 9/18

This is my post announcing my intention to participate in Novel Knight's Beat the Backlist Challenge for 2018. Right now I don't have a complete reading list for the year, and I may never - or my list may change as I go along. But I'll try to get at least a partial list up at some point. I do plan on reading lots of Pagan books and those about polytheisms and animism, both ancient and modern. I also hope to read lots of LGBTQUIA books as well as books about disability rights and chronic illnesses. I'll probably read a lot of fantasy books and I also want to read some books of myths. I also plan on reading some books specific to certain rpg settings. And I'd like to read a few biographies of a few of my favorite writers. That's all I've got for now.

Edited to add: Here is the link to the post where I'm keeping track of the books I've read for the Beat the Backlist Challenge so far: My list of books read.

And here is a link to my reading list for the challenge for this year. It'll get changed over time as I add and remove books to the list: My 2018 Reading List.
Hello. I've looked at Dreamwidth and admired it from afar in the past, but it always seemed complicated and difficult to navigate to me, compared with the mediums I'm more familiar with, so I never joined. But in the last two or three years, I found out about Get Your Words Out and I wanted to try it, but I kept remembering about it too late. This year I read about it on two blogs I follow just in time. So I joined Dreamwidth specifically to do the Get Your Words Out challenge. I pledged for the Habit version of the challenge and I pledged at least 120 days of working on writing in 2018.

Through those same two blogs I follow, I was reminded of Novel Knight's "Beat the Backlist" Challenge and I could really use to do that this year and I would like to. So I think I'm going to use my Dreamwidth account for tracking both of those things. Additionally, since I am already using it for both of those things, and since my other blogs aren't entirely along the lines of personal blogs (though they are personal in many ways), I think I'll use this blog to track and write about my reading and writing in general.

I still don't really know how this website works, but so far it isn't as complicated as I feared, and hopefully I'll be able to figure it out as I go along.

Edited to add: Here is the link to the post where I'm keeping track of the books I've read for the Beat the Backlist Challenge so far: My list of books read.

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