Sunday, 27 February 2011

WineLit and Eight Hours of Editing


Yes, it's a brand new literary sub genre, WineLit, coined by Talli Roland.

I've been editing like crazy - eight hours yesterday (just like Theresa did!), after slacking off for two days last week - and I'm at 63,050 words of 141,969.

Still can't seem to cut the words down, but I moved a lot of scenes around - again! - and set up a calendar of events; the story moves from 3 August 1492 to 20 April 1493, and I think I've finally figured out Rosa's birthday: 12 October. With less than a month to go in the Round of Words in 80 Days, I've still got about 78,000 words to edit; I need to do at least 3,000 words per day, while I've only been doing about 1,000.

Hence the need for WineLit.

One of the scenes I edited yesterday features a long night of friendship, laughter, and wine drinking. Of course, there's romance involved. I meant to post it here, but as it's rather long, have posted it to my Facebook author page instead; a WineLit snip from Out of the Water.

Also, Lola's having an awesome Lolapalooza! Join in!

Quote of the week comes from Tolkien (who else?). I rediscovered this while looking up drafts of the Lord of the Rings in the History of Middle Earth, based on a discussion of literary tropes at Matthew's Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment (love that blog name!):

"'If you haven't got a horn, fill me a mug! For I have done both Aelfwine's part and Treowine's, and it is thirsty work, a minstrel's.'

Markison handed him a pewter tankard full. 'Beo thu blithe aet thisse beorthege!' he said, for ancient English is only one of the innumerable things he knows.

Lowdham drained the tankard at a draught. And so ended the sixty-ninth night of the Notion Club."

Friday, 25 February 2011

Passing on Awards and Passing on Editing

Friday! Oh frabjous day!

A long night of editing, followed by a full Saturday of editing and then - er, wait a moment, I need to check my nautical chart again. How long does it take to sail from Malta to Selonika? Well, as long as I have Google up, let me just open a new tab and check my email...

It's midnight? How is that possible? I was only just getting started!

I've had a couple of days of slacking off from editing, and you know what happens when your butt's not consistently in that chair - your mind wanders even more. I swear I'm shutting everything but the word processor down in half an hour. I've got to have some progress to report for #ROW80 on Sunday.

Thank you to my over 200 followers! If I haven't followed you back yet, it's because I couldn't find a linky on your profile - please leave a comment and let me know how to find your website or blog.

And to Trish and Alison for these two awards!

Let's see, I've got to share seven things about myself...

1. I don't have a middle name

2. I haven't yet read Lord of the Flies, The Grapes of Wrath (or East of Eden) and War and Peace

3. My thumbs are pretty black. I've got two plants and both are the mercy of my two cats. Which reminds me, I think yesterday was water the plants day

4. During the day, I can be bribed with a latte to do all sorts of things. Work-related things, I hasten to add

5. I have one hymn and two song lyrics that are permanently stuck in my head, and crop up at odd times throughout my life: Jerusalem, "...and I feel like I'm slowly, slowly drifting from the shore" (U2) and "I am smelling like the rose that somebody gave me on my birthday deathbed" (Stone Temple Pilots)

6. I love LEGO

7. I'm toying with the idea of joining NaNoEdMo...

I'll pass both awards on to the bloggers in my two crusade groups!

The MG/YA crusaders:

1. Samantha Verant (Life, Love & Living in France) YA, MG, memoir, romantic comedy 

2. Faith B. (Literary Coldcuts on Toasty Buns) [Twitter] YA (fantasy, science fiction, paranormal and magical realism elements), MG, women's fiction, historical fiction 

3. ali cross (Ali Cross) [Twitter] YA (science fiction, fantasy), MG (science fiction, fantasy) 

4. Donea Lee (The Queen of Procrastination) YA (contemporary fantasy), working on a MG idea 

5. Francesca Amendolia (Making It Up) [Twitter] YA (younger), MG 

6. Lois D. Brown (Life of Lois) YA, MG 

7. Len L (Conversations with Self) MG, Literary women’s fiction 

8. MC Howe (Pensive Sarcasm) MG (adventure, mainstream), humor 

9. Carrie (Carrie Keeps Typing) MG 

10. Ben Langhinrichs (My Comfy Chair) [Twitter] MG (fantasy), YA (science fiction), science fiction 

11. Chris Phillips (Chris Phillips - Slushpile Savant) MG 

The Romance crusaders:

1. Summer Ross (My Inner Fairy) Fantasy (fairies), romance, short stories, non-fiction (short stories), horror, poetry, erotic fiction 

2. Savannah Chase (Savannah Chase' Official Author Blog) [Twitter] Adult fiction, romance, paranormal, fantasy, contemporary, sweet romance, erotic fiction 

3. Charlotte McClain (Charlotte McClain) Romance 

4. Liz Fichera (Liz Fichera's Blog) [Twitter] Historical romance, contemporary romance, fantasy romance, YA 

5. Margo Benson (Margo Benson) Romance, paranormal 

6. Kerrin Hearfield (Kerrin Hearfield) Romance (Riva line for Mills and Boon), romantic suspense (for ST) 

7. Nas Dean (Nas Dean) [Twitter] Contemporary romance 

8. Hope Welsh (Hope Welsh) [Twitter] Romance, romantic suspense, erotic fiction, fantasy, paranormal 

9. Alyssa Fox (Alyssa Fox) [Twitter] Contemporary romance, erotic fiction

10. L'Aussie Denise (L’Aussie Writing) [Twitter] Romantic suspense (contemporary/literary)

11. Gina Blechman (Kaleidescope Thoughts: Life, Love, and Dystopia), YA (dystopian), erotic fiction (lesbian/bisexual romance, realistic) 

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Does Your Character Regret Anything?

Jemi's giving away the Cherry on Top Life is Good Award to everyone!

Recipients are to share with everyone things about their pasts that they would change. I'm with Jemi on this, though; I don't regret anything from the past that's led me to where I am. So let me see if I can do this from my character Rosa's point of view (from the novel Out of the Water, set in 1492-3 in Spain and Turkey):

1. I'd let my father and older brother do the rescuing. If I hadn't barged in, acting like a boy, I wouldn't have fallen down the cliffside in the first place.
2. Of course, then I wouldn't have met Brother Arcturus and gone down to Palos, where I discovered who my real father was. Still, I might have been happier not knowing. And if I hadn't been on my own, I wouldn't have been captured and questioned by the Inquisition.
3. At least I escaped - right into the arms of my husband to be. Of course, I didn't know that at the time. If all of the terrible things above hadn't happened, would I have met him in some other way?
4. He only courted me slowly at the start, but then we spent that night together at Malta. If I hadn't done that... No one knows about that by the way, so I'm swearing you to secrecy! Would he have married me soon after, as he did, if we hadn't already been together?
5. I wish he wasn't ill. I wish there was some cure that would save him. His coughing is getting worse and worse... And it's all my fault.

Hmm, do you think I can count the above toward meeting my goals for the Round of Words in 80 Days?

Ah, didn't think so. Well, I slacked off yesterday, but for the most part #amediting. Getting lots of great feedback, especially on the CompuServe Books and Writers Community.

Jen, over at All The World's Our Page, is hosting a contest! Just hop over and post a scene that has "your character do something thoughtful for another (even better if they do it with complete nonchalance)."

I put up mine already, but won't repost here as it's a little long - head on over to the contest page if you'd like to read it.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Teenreads Ultimate Reading List Choices

Even though I'm working hard at a historical romance at the moment, and much of my research and side reading is geared toward that, my go-to books are always Middle Grade and Young Adult.

I love the way they crystallise events and problems, focusing only on what's most important, and the way strong characters shine through clearly, without lots of emotional baggage cluttering their approaches to life - thinking here, for instance, of John Green's Looking for Alaska, and how straightforward the characters are, yet how much depth there is to them at the same time.

I thought of this yesterday when I received my copy of Dear Canada: Hoping for Home - featuring short stories by the likes of Kit Pearson, Jean Little and others (I know I know, I really Do Not need to be adding to my To Be Read pile!) - and realised that I'm willing to drop everything else just to read it.

Also, the folks at Teenreads have just released their Ultimate Teen Reading List of 400 books! Some of my favourites from the list are:

The Princess Bride, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, The Pigman, My Life and Hard Times (Thurber), The Hobbit, The Children of Hurin and The Lord of the Rings, Little Women, The Little Prince, Letters to a Young Poet (Rilke), It, I Am the Cheese and The Chocolate War (Cormier), The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Harry Potter, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, Go Ask Alice, Gilead (Marilynne Robinson), Fahrenheit 451, The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank), The Complete Maus, A Clockwork Orange, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Catcher in the Rye and Nine Stories, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Brief History of the Dead (Brockmeier), Brave New World, The Book Thief, 1984 and Angela's Ashes.

Canadians seem to be under represented, though, and some of the authors have only one or two books listed, whereas I would have included their entire canon, or swapped a certain book (for instance, I couldn't abide Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Birds Without Wings was a much better book; and I always preferred Tender is the Night to The Great Gatsby).

Also, there are too few short stories, and no poetry!

One that I haven't read yet, but would like to, is Big Fish by Daniel Wallace.

Which books would you have added or removed from the list?
Answer to the first crusader challenge: the wee lie was that I never bloviate. I don't always, but sometimes I get on my high horse about others' grammar. Good thing I don't do it to their faces - I certainly don't want to end up like Girl #2 on this birthday card:

Outside of card:
Girl #1: Where's your birthday party at?
Girl #2: You know, you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition.

Inside card:
Girl #1: Where's your birthday party at, bitch?

Sunday, 20 February 2011

First Crusader Challenge, ROW80 and Tolkien versus Fantasy

Hey there fellow crusaders, and partners in the Round of Words in 80 Days!

My goal for the Round of Words was to edit at least a page of my novel, Out of the Water, every day. I'm on about page 62 of 178, 54,808 words of 136,787 - and the finished novel is only supposed to be around 120,000 words! Slacked off a little here and there last week (pub quiz, anyone?) but at least was writing missing scenes on pen and paper when not editing.

The first crusader challenge was posted on Friday! Here are my replies, which include a secret, a lie, an interesting quirk, an annoying habit, one of my best character traits, and one of my favourite things in the whole world:
I never bloviate but I crack my knuckles. I listen well to others. My hero is not a dashing blade; he's a wandering ragged stranger, but he's kind. I can't wriggle my nose like a rabbit, though I can bend my pinkie all the way to the back of my hand. I had a dream once where my sister, my grandmother and I were fuliguline, and we soared over the water. O! the sound of the sea waves crashing in unceasing rhythm on the sand...
I may have revealed something about me that isn't strictly true. Can you guess which of the above it is?

Now then, for those of you that are writers and/or readers of fantasy, there's a really interesting discussion going on in the blogosphere. Sam Sykes first drew my attention to it when he linked to the original article - where, in a nutshell, Leo Grin claims that modern fantasy doesn't hold a candle to Tolkien and Howard.

I happen to think that not many writers - fantasy or not - hold a candle to Tolkien, but that's just my personal preference, and the bloggers and authors that responded to the original article all had valid rebuttals on why such comparisons ultimately don't even need to be made at all:
Magemanda wonders how the author could conveniently skip over mentioning women writers.
Adam states that the author of the article missed the point of Tolkien completely in stating that he wasn't nihilistic.
And he-reads-The-Lord-of-the-Rings-every-year-too! Joe Abercrombie asks why all these divisions and groupings have to be made in the first place.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Welcome Crusaders and New Music from the Whisky Trench Riders

Welcome fellow crusaders!

It's such a treat to meet so many new bloggers at once. Thanks so much to Rachael for organizing it, and to Zan Marie and the authors at All The World's Our Page for calling my attention to it.

I'm off to a Cheese Festival this afternoon – at which wine may or may not – but hopefully will – be served – and before I go, I thought I'd do a little introductory post about myself and what I write.

I'm sorted into two groups for the crusade, the MG/YA group and the romance group. Seems a little disparate, no? In fact, romance is my first love, when I write novels, and MG is something I'm more used to tackling when I write short stories. My last complete novel, The Face of A Lion, was the first full length MG I ever wrote.
When thirteen-year-old Austin's parents drag him along to a villa in Turkey they've rented for the summer, he hunkers down and counts the days until he can get back home to his friends in England. But that's before he rescues a talking cat, witnesses a bloody ritual that causes two people to disappear, and finds himself whisked back in time.

Nearly two thousand years in the past, he makes a new friend--and a new enemy. A powerful evil wants to prevent Claudius the Emperor's invasion of Britain. Austin has to act fast to ensure that the invasion does take place--or time and civilization as he knows it will never be the same.
I'm currently querying agents for Austin's story and working on Rosa's – the historical romance novel, Out of the Water, set in 1492-3.
Exiled from her Spanish homeland by the Inquisition and separated from her family as they flee their home, 18 year old Rosa must place her life in the hands of a stranger from the Ottoman Empire. Baha, estranged from his own father and returning to his homeland after ten years, is her one hope of reaching Constantinople and reuniting with her family. The fact that he's attractive and tender is an unexpected pleasure.

As they travel together, her burning drive to be reunited with her loved ones is matched by a deepening desire for the man at her side -- but all too soon they may run out of time to be together. Rosa's family will likely not accept her marriage to a man of different faith, let alone one who has been renounced by his family. Yet before she can even introduce them, their reunion is cut short by the arrest of her father and brother at the hands of the Sultan's Grand Vizier. Rosa and Baha are the only ones that can rescue them, and together prove that their love can withstand their differences.
Looking forward to visiting and getting to know all of you and your projects! Thank you to all my new followers.

The Whisky Trench Riders have a new album out! The song Nightingale is one of my favourites and makes me think of Rosa and Baha from Out of the Water every time I listen to it. And Canadianthem is just a rocking tune!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Bernard Pivot Blogfest, Many Links and an ROW80 Update

Cveryone doing the Round of Words in 80 Days could use a bit of chocolate, right? Does anyone have any to share, leftover from Monday, perhaps?

I've entered that cycle - slack off, feel guilty, slack off some more. Ah, I shouldn't be too hard on myself - I got most of some very important dialogue written last week, and edited a scene featuring one of my villains (the hero's father) and shared it as my exercise for February on the Compuserve Forum. Then I did some random copy editing this morning, and it was so much fun rereading scenes from the story!

Along the line of that, Susan has a very inspiring post on nourishing your creative spirit.

And Nicole's hosting a Bernard Pivot Blogfest! I've answered a few of these questions before, but here goes:

What is your favorite word? Wariangle

What is your least favorite word? Like ("like, OMG, LOL!")

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Creatively - writing a story that's flowing well; spiritually - reading Tolkien, Lewis, Sayers or Saint Augustine; emotionally - sweet stories that aren't too sappy, or movies like Waking Ned Devine. And anything to do with ordinary people, heroism and Keep Calm and Carry On during World War I and World War II.

What turns you off? Wilful stupidity, vapidity

What is your favorite curse word? Fish wrinkles

What sound or noise do you love? The Aegean sea crashing on the sand near my grandmother's house

What sound or noise do you hate? TV commercials

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Veterinarian or sailor (on a sailboat)

What profession would you not like to do? Anything involving public speaking

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? "This way to the TARDIS..."

(I'd like to see what European cities and other places on Earth looked like hundreds and thousands of years ago, and explore the universe, and the Time And Relative Dimension In Space machine on Doctor Who would be perfect for that sort of travel)

Wandering Wednesday Links:
My review of the delightful erotic novella Pilgrim for Love by Anna Austen Leigh is up!

Say, if you haven't entered DL Hammons' contest and guessed the answer to the mystery, what are you waiting for?

Sherrie has an author spotlight on Terry Lynn Johnson!

Lyrical Press is calling for Irish themed submissions.

Diana Gabaldon's on an Outlander Virtual Book Tour.

And Roland Yeomans has a book out!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

ROW80 Check In, Villains and Len's Contest

Forget this weekend. And I do mean forget it. Let me see, did I get any editing done? No... And that, of course, was my main goal for the Round of Words in 80 Days. Writing only counts when I'm creating scenes that were missing, and that's what I did on Wednesday and Thursday - yet I haven't even typed those up!

I know what the roadblock is about though - I need to write a scene featuring my villain, mainly because it's a necessary scene in the novel that needs major editing (I cringed at how out of place half the dialogue and most of the action is in the scene as written; I hadn't reread it since I first wrote it nearly half a year ago) and partly because I'd like to submit it for this month's writer's exercise on the Compuserve Forum.

And the roadblock? Well, it's not a romance scene is it? And therein lies the rub...

My hero loves the heroine (let Joanna Bourne tell you why) and the romantic scenes come so easily. But antagonism? The heroine standing up to her father-in-law and getting cut down? That doesn't come half as easily...

How did I end up writing about my villain around St Valentine's Day? All I have to offer in honour of the day is the heart on my younger cat's head. Here he is:

And here's his heart:

Meanwhile, Len's almost at 200 Followers and having a contest to celebrate!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Procrastinating With Rowan Atkinson

Came home late tonight to find that there was nothing on TV, as usual. Does watching the first season of Blackadder for the umpteenth time count as research?

There's the wonderful line: "Let all those who go to don armour tomorrow, remember to go before they don armour tomorrow."

Somewhere in there among all the episodes is one of my favourite lines: "Fortune vomits on my eiderdown once more."

Ah, who am I kidding? All the lines are quotable.

I feel as though I'm slacking off, yet truth be told I penned a few thousand words of dialogue between yesterday and today. All of my dialogue scenes start off the same way, as two or three talking heads in a void.

All along the margin I scribble "need tags!" and other notes like "link to later scene in Selonika" or "Arcturus makes a face here". Somehow, I can't seem to describe the characters' actions and focus on their words at the same time, though I do visualise their faces and movements as I write.

What kinds of drafting quirks does everyone else have?

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

ROW80, Sarah's Key and Brian Jacques

Between dinner, editing, sleep, work, and dinner again, I just spent every free moment of the last 24 hours reading Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. A brilliant, moving, absorbing book set in France, the US and Italy, 1942 and 2002. If you haven't read it yet, do.

On page 60 of 180, 48,527 words of 139,030, of Out of the Water and I feel like I'm not getting anywhere. Still sticking to my original A Round of Words in 80 Days goal of editing at least a page a day but the MS is still littered with close to 3,000 square brackets.

Turns out Misha's going through the same thing, and her advice is sound. One word at a time, that's the only way.

At least I'm still in love with my story and my characters, and their love for each other. If I have such a pleasant time seeing Rosa and Baha together, living through their adventures, I simply have to make sure I write their story in such a way as to give everyone else that joy.

Meanwhile, in keeping with my series of Why Doesn't My Newspaper Report on the Important Things, I've found out through Linda Gerber that Brian Jacques, author of the Redwall series, has passed away. I first found out about his work through author and playwright Michel Tremblay, who recommended him at a reading for his own book, The City in the Egg.

Monday, 7 February 2011

ROW80 and X Marks the Spot

X is for...

eXactly ten pages I've edited in the last week

X thousand words that I've added to the novel. I didn't do it on purpose, I swear!

X hundred words that I've successfully cut, finding some true gems along the way (a lingering character name for instance, when I thought I'd Exacto-knifed him out of that scene months ago).

X more books I just added to my To Read pile, having started a book club with some close friends. First up, Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.

X scenes and snippets and exercises and books for review I've volunteered to read. So far enjoying Pilgrim for Love by Anna Austen Leigh. And she's writing in my time period, too!

eXactly X major items on my Writer's Life To Do list. (Let's not think about the Work Life To Do list or the Knitter's Life To Do list. And let's ignore completely the Housework To Do list.)

X is the hour that I'd like to be asleep by every night so that I stop getting distracted every five minutes during the day. But I doubt that's going to happen.

X is also the mystery solution to DL Hammons' Whodunnit - A 600 Follower Mystery/Celebration! Can you figure it out?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Second Writers' Platform Building Crusade and A Book Review

Join me and Zan Marie and Tara and the authors at All The World's Our Page as we join Rachael Harrie's writers' crusade, from now until April 30th.

"Basically, the Crusade is a way to link those within the writing community together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms. The Crusaders are all bloggers in a similar position, who genuinely want to pay it forward, make connections and friends within the writing community, and help build each others' online platforms while at the same time building theirs. Last year (my First Crusade) we had 55 Crusaders, many of whom have become great blogging friends. We saw our followers skyrocket and the comments on our posts increase, and had fun taking part in Crusade Challenges as well."

My latest review, for Ellen Margret's Fairies Forever, is up on the One Hundred Romances Project!

And something else I just noticed - Elena's done a recap of all the things that were wrong/repetitive/not exciting with many of the paragraphs entered into Nathan Bransford's contest. And though I didn't win, I'm happy to say that my paragraph has none of these problems! Better luck next time, I hope.

In other procrastination news, today is World Nutella Day! Join Helen for some Nutella Hugs.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Editing, Procrastination, and Check In on ROW80

Whee! Plugging along on edits. I've done about 52,000 words out of 136,000 and still have 2,576 square brackets to clear up.

I named my two villains yesterday!

Three IFs:

If you're looking for an author to support, head on over to India Drummond's for ways to help. Her novel Ordinary Angels launches in less than two months!

If you're further along than I, working on your query, here are all the successful queries featured on Guide to Literary Agents. Somewhere in the middle is Hélène Boudreau's letter for Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings - and guess what? There are two sequels for that book coming soon!

And if all you want to do is procrastinate... Pillow Astronaut offers a widget for calculating your weight on other planets. Just one more reason Pluto is my favourite planet.

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • Be Careful, It's My Heart by Kait Nolan
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (annual reread)
  • The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Moranology by Caitlin Moran
  • Sauron Defeated - Book 9 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Journal of Inklings Studies
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Mr. Garden by Eleanor Farjeon
  • Untitled by Claire G (poem)
  • Possum Magic by... (read by Claire)
  • The Listeners by Walter de la Mare (poem)
  • Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
  • Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  • Dark Sonnet by Neil Gaiman
  • "Birds of Passage" by Peter McArthur (poem)
  • Marilynne Robinson and Barack Obama in the New York Review of Books (conversation)
  • "Fear"by Marilynne Robinson (essay)
  • A Simple Act of Kindness by Carol Drinkwater (short story)
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter van Houten (short piece) (already added this?)
  • Sparkling Cyanide (Remembered Death) by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Les dernieres jours de nos peres by Joel Dicker
  • Spun by Catherine McKenzie
  • Jamadu: Pippa et le crocodile (a Coop storybook)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • Hide and Seek Pig: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Postman Bear: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Fox's Socks: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Christmas at Cranberry Cottage by Talli Roland (short story)
  • Tolkien's Gedling by __ and Andrew Morton
  • A Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak
  • Le livre des Baltimore by Joel Dicker
  • Paddington Bear All Day by Michael Bond
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Mrs Whippy by Cecelia Ahern
  • The Story of Kullervo by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Going Back by T. L. Watson
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper (abridged, darn it)
  • Emily's House
  • The Hockey Song
  • The End of All Things by John Scalzi
  • A Christmas Story by Richard Burton
  • Histoire de Founex by Josiane Ferrari-Clément (skimmed)
  • Rabbit's Nap: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
  • La Verite sur l'affair Harry Quebert by Joel Dicker (loving this!)
  • How To Be A Man (and other illusions) by Duff McKagan
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Pop-up Peekaboo: Farm (DK publishing) (board book) (duh)
  • Paddington Bear Goes to Market by Michael Bond (board book)
  • Emily's Balloon by Komako Sakai
  • Bible stories and puzzles (in French) (board book)
  • The Last Chance Ball (a Word Wenches christmas anthology featuring Jo Bourne, Jo Beverley, etc.)
  • Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • CassaFire by Alex Cavanaugh
  • First and Second Things by C. S. Lewis
  • Smith of Wootton Major by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • So Anyway... by John Cleese
  • The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl
  • Slowly, silently now the moon by Walter de la Mare (poem)
  • I can't work like this by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • CassaStar by Alex Cavanaugh
  • Death of A Century: A Novel of the Lost Generation by Daniel Robinson
  • The Fly by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • Tyger, Tyger by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • The Christie Notebooks by John Curran
  • The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • secret beta 2!
  • The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak
  • Chu's Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman (reread, many times)
  • Sacred Inwardness by Marilynne Robinson (essay)
  • New Statesman issue guest edited by Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman (I don't usually include magazines in this list but I read this one cover to cover)
  • The North Star is Nearer by Evelyn Eaton
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King (loved My Pretty Pony)
  • Every Month Was May by Evelyn Eaton
  • Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan
  • secret beta!
  • Smoke by Catherine McKenzie
  • In Two Aeroplanes Over the Sea by Amanda Palmer (poem)
  • Jim at the Corner by Eleanor Farjeon
  • Finding Fraser by kc dyer
  • Mother Tongue -- The Story of the English Language by Bill Bryson
  • The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  • Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • Come, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie
  • The Lord Fish by Walter de la Mare
  • The Going To Bed Book by S Boynton
  • The Nursery Rhyme Book by Andrew Lang
  • In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
  • Subterranean Scalzi Super featuring To Sue the World (an original, very short Redshirts story available nowhere else) Muse of Fire Mallet of Loving Correction Lock In, Lost Chapters (available nowhere else) How I Proposed To My Wife: An Alien Sex Story An Election Judge Sn Goes Golfing Questions for a Soldier The Sagan Diary The Tale of the Wicked The God Engines You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop by John Scalzi
  • Emily Goes to Market by William Mayne
  • Many Moons by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (reread)
  • Colours Are Nice (Little Golden Book)
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo by Judy Blume
  • The Wars by Timothy Findley (reread)
  • The Captive Diary of Catherine Logan by Mary Pope Osborne (Dear America)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (reread)
  • The Poky Puppy (Little Golden Book) (abridged)
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (reread)
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • secret beta read 2
  • Pre-Fix: A Ciel Halligan Short Story by Linda Grimes
  • Hidden by Catherine Mackenzie
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
  • But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
  • Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad by M. R. James (short story) (1904)
  • Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman (reread)
  • My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl
  • Usborne board books
  • Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (so lovely)
  • Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico
  • secret beta read!
  • The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend
  • HELP! Food Allergies Coming To Dinner by Kait Nolan
  • This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner
  • Two Caravans by Monica Lewycka
  • Aunt Sass by P. L. Travers
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (actually a few pages of the story, written by John Green for the film of his novel The Fault In Our Stars)
  • January Brings the Snow by Sara Coleridge (poem)
  • Kissing song by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • The Mother by Nettie Palmer (poem)
  • William Tell Told Again by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Her Ladyship's Companion by Joanna Bourne
  • The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
  • How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
  • Mes P'tits Contes, legends of Swiss cantons
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  • see the 2012 list and statistics here
  • see the 2011 statistics on
  • see the 2011 list at
  • see the 2010 list at
  • see the 2009 list at
  • also in 2009 at
  • see the 2008 list at
  • also in 2008 at
  • also in 2008 at