Sunday, 31 July 2011

ROW80 Check In, Steampunk, Plot Bunnies and Murder Mysteries

Pantster or plotter?

As a dyed-in-the-wool write-by-the-seat-of-your-pants author, who's tried - and failed - to ever outline a story, I find it interesting that this past week has seen me try three new things:

1. starting a murder mystery short story (I've always wanted to write a mystery)

2. plotting a list of 5-10 scenes that are necessary for the story (including whodunit)

3. drafting the scenes linearly

Is it a full moon or have the planets aligned in syzygy or what?

The one thing I did do is stick to my current time period (Spain and Turkey, 1492-3). I had all these visions of leaping into a story involving characters from the Sparkly New Idea, set in 1930s Ontario and Quebec, but I resisted!

One the other hand, I keep getting assaulted by steampunk imagery, most recently at the Cirque du Soleil show Totem. I can't find a good photograph from that, so here's my favourite steampunk Dalek:

What to do, what to do?

Does it count as steampunk if there are plot bunnies in the story? Actually, now that I think about, it everyone's welcome to submit a story for the upcoming Attack of the Plot Bunnies anthology. I'll post further details this week, as they become available.

Anne-Mhairi Simpson had a great idea today - that it's the momentum from writing a new piece that carries you through editing another. I hadn't considered that, since I usually don't work on more than one story at a time (I have to stick to one, or nothing gets finished). But having my short story set in the same time, with the same characters, has undoubtedly helped.

Almost as though I was writing a sequel.


Friday, 29 July 2011

Lavender Fields and Book Reviews


Had a day off yesterday, from work and writing, and visited the fields of Bleu Lavande. I'm squinting into the sun in this photograph, otherwise there'd be a happy, relaxed smile on my face.

Did I mention I had the day off? I returned home late and instead of resting even further, dove back into editing. Finished entering all the changes I'd made on paper!

Still have a raft of square brackets to clear up, though. Unfortunately, these are the most difficult ones. They say things like "add tension", "what's hero doing?", "what's the worst that could happen?" and "throw rocks!", which derives from a recent post by Adam Heine.

My latest book reviews are up on the 100 Romances site:
Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye
Maybe This Time by Jannine Gallant

Speaking of which, Karen Gowan is creating a link list of book reviewers! If you feature reviews on your blog, send her your link.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Liz Fichera's Craving Perfect and Other Happy Links

My review of Liz Fichera's Craving Perfect is up on 100 Romances!

And another link - visit for literary news, reviews and interviews. One recent blog posts featured a review of the Steve Coogan (I mean Alan Partridge. I mean... Ah-ha!) and Rob Brydon film, The Trip.

Roni Loren's having an epic giveaway of lots of swag to celebrate her two year blogiversary!

Joanna Bourne is choosing banners for her updated website... Look for Black Hawk, Adrian's story, in a few months!

Porch Conversations, another gorgeous post over at From The House of Edward.

Denise has a detailed review of Ann Best's memoir In The Mirror. That book's at the top of my wishlist.

As for ROW80 - I've got 15 pages left in editing! I'm at the end of the novel! There are lots of gaping holes and repeated words and trite conversations! These are exclamation marks of panic that I'm sprinkling!

Need some comic relief:

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Medeia and Adam's Contests and Remember Your Sucky First Drafts?

Jill (that snowflake is to help us cool off during the heat wave) had a post recently wherein she shared a snip of an earlier draft, showing how her characters had changed.

Well, Jill, this one's for you: the first scene I ever wrote featuring Baha. I had no idea who he was yet. In this draft, he's much older, and largely undefined, beyond his faith. I had no idea about his family's background, or his own.

It all came about during a writer's exercise on the forum, set by Claire. She gave us a list of characters, conflicts and genres, and we were to choose one from each column and write a scene. I twisted it to fit my wip, and ended up discovering my hero, though I scarce knew that at the time. For one thing, I still thought I was writing YA...

"1. Inciting incident: Rose lands on the quay at Constantinople. She has no luggage beyond a pocketful of stuff. Her travelling companions, Arcturus the monk and Joseph the love interest (there's more to him than that, of course, but for the moment let's keep it simple) are both suffering from seasickness and can barely drag themselves off the ship. Arcturus would have helped them navigate the strange new town, with his facility for languages and by virtue of the fact that he's more worldly wise than young Rose and Joseph, but he can barely lift his head from his bucket of sick. Joseph is dehydrated and lies on the deck like a limp fish. Rose is annoyed with them, but more worried than annoyed – she has no idea where to go, the landscape is strange and rocky, the sea coast has many dips and turns, and everyone is bustling around on the docks and not paying them the slightest bit of attention. Lots of men surround them, trying to sell fruits, candies, nuts, drinks, and they’re dressed in, to her, strange layers of flappy shalwars, some with turbans, and over everything comes the haunting strain of the call to prayer. All around her is chaos and stray dogs gambol back and forth around everyone's legs.

Through all this, a voice comes from behind her. "Can I help you?"

It's the artist, having returned to his hometown after studying in Italy. He found out he had a terminal illness and decided to return home, though his parents have disowned him for having left them and, as they see it, renounced his Muslim heritage by going off to live in a land of infidels. He's hoping his sister will still talk to him, at least.

2. Turning point: Rose decides to accept help from this stranger, as she has no other choice, and at least they can both speak a little French to each other. They both know a little Latin but pronounce the words quite differently, so that's no help, and some of his Italian words sound like Spanish, but not close enough. Still, Arcturus will be able to speak to him once on dry land. She points at her companions' helplessness, then tries to describe that she needs to find the Jewish quarter. The artist – let's call him Baha – finds them a man with a small boat (a kayik, or caique) to take them across the Golden Horn to the Jewish quarter.

3. Point of no return: Of course, Rose has no money, nor does Joseph. She suddenly realises that Arcturus spent the last of their money on getting them on the ship to Constantinople, and that while they travelled in Spain and France he used his monasterial contacts to find lodging and food. In this Muslim-ruled country, unless they can obtain help from an Orthodox church, there's no one to guide them or take care of them. She panics, and tries to retract her acceptance of help from the artist, embarrassed by the state she's been reduced to. Baha just keeps shaking his head, and pushing them onto the boat. She tries to explain that she'll pay him back when she finds her family, but her French isn't good enough for that. Baha gets into the boat with them, and Rose finally takes a seat in the prow, keeping her head averted so no one can see her cry.

4. Darkest hour: She's not just sad, but angry. But who to direct her anger to? Uncle San, for revealing that he's her father and throwing her faith into doubt? Arcturus for not letting her leave the monastery back in Spain to search for her parents when they were still only a few days away? Joseph, for wanting to be a knight yet never being able to help her with anything? How is she ever going to find her parents in this dirty, noisy city? She's angry with them too, for keeping the secret of her birth all these years.

5. Climax: The boat crossing takes longer than usual, as they have to wait for several larger ships to go by. As they bob in the water, Arcturus and Joseph groaning, much to the oarsman's amusement, Baha tries to talk to Rose a little. Something along the lines of...

"Jewish, yes?"
"Um, Catholic."
"But family Jewish? How possible?"
Rose tries to think of what the word for adoption might be... "My mother died and –"
"Ah, new family. They happy to see you?"
"Oh yes, I hope so.” She sees a shadow cross his face. "And your family?"
"My family not so happy. Never wish see me again."
"But why?"
"Leave glorious city of Istanbul, travel to land of giavours. Infidels. I learn much, but Father says only knowledge worth having is Islam."
"They won’t be happy, then, to see you have returned?"
"I can only hope. Perhaps my sister... we were close. But I bring sad news of myself. I am ill."
"Yes. I have, how you say, disease. I cough blood. I will not recover, Italian barbers say. So I return to my family."

Well, there it is. Not to get hoaky or anything, but his troubles make Rose's seem a little less earth-shattering. And I'll have to fix this a bit, later, since they should have talked before if they've been on the same ship all this time."

What an understatement! Needless to say, Joseph's out. And thankfully, Baha doesn't sound quite so stilted in conversations anymore, either. To say the least.

Medeia's having an amazing contest to celebrate her blogiversary, where you can win a copy of her novel Bestest. Ramadan. Ever. along with a host of other swag.
Adam's having a contest too, to celebrate his publication in the Beneath Ceaseless Skies' Best of Year Two Anthology.

As for me, I'm 25 pages away from finishing this round of edits!

Friday, 22 July 2011

The Summer of Skinny Dipping, The Fellowship of the Ring, Dumbledore, Outlander, Gilead (Which One's Not A Book Title?)

Most everyone has a To Read pile. Mine comprises about 10 stacks, half by my bed, the other half scattered about the library (and listed down the left hand side in the Books To Read Before 2015 list. I'd better get cracking). I've also got a wishlist on and on, as well as in my email. My LibraryThing catalogue is a few hundred books out of date.

So sometimes, books fall through the cracks. I get really excited about a book and buy it/find it/receive it as a gift, and then for one reason or another, don't begin reading it right away.

This is what happened with Amanda Howells' The Summer of Skinny Dipping, which Medeia Sharif reviewed and then sent to me.

But a few days ago, seeking something new, I maneuvered the piles around, and picked up this book - and couldn't put it down. If you're a fan of Norma Fox Mazer or Katherine Paterson, this book is for you. It's soft and warm and bittersweet and, even though I half-guessed at the ending that was coming, I was still bawling for an hour after I'd finished it.

And then I had to turn around and keep going on edits for my own novel. Sigh.

In other book news, yesterday was the anniversary of the first publication of Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring, in 1954.

Also, I know I said I wouldn't mention Harry Potter, but I have to for two reasons. One, if you haven't seen Theresa Milstein's comparison of Beatlemania vs Pottermania, you're missing out on some serious laughs. Two, I've mentioned character arcs before, but somehow keep forgetting to discuss Dumbledore. He's definitely got an intricate backstory, and the way it's doled out in bits and pieces as Harry discovers his history throughout the books, makes it all the more mysterious and intriguing. Definitely a new way of revealing character.

Finally, in other book news, Diana Gabaldon's choice for Jamie Fraser (if Outlander is ever made into a movie and if she ever had a say), Allan Scott Douglas, is featured in a detailed interview at Another Look Book Reviews.

PS I almost forgot - they might be making a movie of Marilynne Robinson's Gilead. Now that is not exactly good news. I have no idea how they plan on distilling that piece of poetry into a movie and, frankly, doubt I want to see the results.

See you on Sunday with more updates from A Round of Words in 80 Days!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

More ROW80 and Literary Resolutions Update

Now that all the films are over (and I've been rereading the books all this time) I have no reason to slip in Snape references, do I?

Thought not.

I do have one piece of happy #ROW80 news - all the editing I've been doing and I'm still in love with my characters and story! That has to be a good sign, right?

July's literary resolution was to "spend two hours a week working on one long piece. This could be a rescued piece discovered in May or something new."

I still have a rediscovered short story that I'd like to edit and try submitting somewhere, but all my energies have been going to editing Out of the Water to ready for querying.

Here's the blurb in its latest incarnation:

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.

I'd like to add one thing more, about their love being worth fighting for, but haven't figured out how yet. Tell me, Rosa, tell me!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Working Really Hard!

Zounds! It's nearly nighttime and I still haven't updated my ROW80 status. This time, I don't even have excuses - I've been working all weekend!

Finally cracked 140,000 words; I'm at 139,932 at the moment and hopefully going down. Only 50 pages left to go of square bracket and highlight clearing and then I'll have a clean manuscript to read.

A little daunting, actually.

Out of the 10 Reasons Why Writers Might Drink, number 6 is the most like me: "You're sure you've finished polishing your manuscript. Sure. Positively, absolutely sure. Then you see the phrase 'this writing sucks, this writing sucks' mid-way down page 53."

This is what I'm scared of; what if I go back to reread the whole story and find it's awful?

But no, no room for that sort of thinking. Must... keep... going... Butt in chair, right? That's the only way to finish a novel.

Hope everyone's had a great (writing) week! For inspiration:

Friday, 15 July 2011

Rereading While Waiting for the Film

Kreacher's Tale.

That's the chapter I'm on right now in my reread of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (can't see the film tonight, unfortunately; have to wait for my sister to come to town, so I'll be seeing it - I hope! - on Monday).

I remember reading an interview once where Rowling mentioned that the filmmakers had decided to cut Kreacher when making The Order of the Phoenix, and she said no! you're going to need him later on!

It boggles my mind to think that the directors and producers hadn't read the entire series before embarking on the project. Books are always better than the movie versions (99% of the time), and that's one of the main reasons why: authors are fully invested in the story and can see all the nuances at a glance. Filmmakers? Not so much, at least when their film is based on a novel or short story. But why don't they care?

Yet even Peter Jackson and The Lord of the Rings... Okay, I won't go there. How many times can we - sorry, I - rehash that?

There is one thing I adore about the Harry Potter films and that's the casting. Everyone looks exactly the way I pictured them, especially my favourites, Lupin and Snape and so on. I do hope they don't make the ending too sappy.

The Marauder's Map Screensaver!

Just think - when the books first appeared, I avoided them altogether because I thought they would be badly written everyone-loves-'em-so-they-must-suck fads. It was only when The Prisoner of Azkaban came out, and my sister borrowed all three from a friend, that I sat down to read them and see what I'd been criticising.

Sure didn't take long for me turn into a devotee. You know, one of those that ordered same-day delivery for The Goblet of Fire, woke up at 8am to wait for the mail, then ignored houseworkfamilyfriendswork for the next two days as I devoured it. I've had a great time rereading them all each year before the films come out.


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Google, Neptune, Houseparty Wrapup and JC Martin's Great Contest

Your and my favourite plus sign, Google, asks What Do You Love? A new way to search when you're looking for videos or maps or blogs or... instead of real research.

For instance, you could look up Neptune, which just completed its first orbit since it was discovered in 1846. If you lived there, you'd be celebrating your first birthday!

All houseparty all the time around here, I know. But it ties into A Round of Words in 80 Days, this time.

Not only was Ron Wodaski's Mall at the End of Time an amazing, exciting, unexpected location to hang out in (I churned out 39,180 words and some of it was backstory that's directly usable in the wip), this month marks the first anniversary of the Cherry Hill, Georgia houseparty, hosted by Zan Marie.

Which means... one year since I rediscovered my love of writing romance, one year since Rosa's affair with Lord Rochester, and one year since I started writing Rosa's story in earnest. Now I'm *gasp* 20 pages away from finishing the latest round of edits on Out of the Water. We're on Lesson Two in Barbara Rogan's fabulous Revising Fiction Workshop and, so far, I'm on track to begin querying in the autumn. I hope!

J. C. Martin, who's just released Stories for Sendai, has a blogiversary! With a great contest, to boot.

"Write a story (or a personal account) that begins with the phrase: "A lot can happen in a year…"

The catch? It must be a drabble, i.e. exactly 100 words long, no more, no less. The starter phrase will not be included in your word count."

Here's mine, based on Rosa in Out of the Water:

A lot can happen in a year.

Last spring I was a child, following my parents across the mountains. And then I fell down the cliffside. I'd never made choices on my own before, but I've grown, and believe I've actually made the right decisions in the past few months, especially in the man I married. When my father returned and questioned my choice, that's when I was the most stubborn, and he came around. Now my husband and I are leaving the city and I have no idea where we're headed. Though there's the two of us now. I like sharing the decision-making with this man.

Starting my reread of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows tonight!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

ROW80, U2 and Lollygagging

Don't know if this post will even come through - Blogger seems to be acting up again, not letting me leave comments.

Which is a shame, as everyone seems to be doing so well on their writing projects and A Round of Words in 80 Days goals and I'd like to sprinkle some congratulations confetti!

On the other hand, maybe it's a sign that I should stop lollygagging and get on with edits. If I buckle down, I think I can get another 20 pages of square brackets cleared up today. Then I've got a few linking scenes to type up. I've got no excuses, now that our houseparty is over.

Well, I do have one excuse. I've got mosquito bites all over my hands from being out on the balcony for an hour yesterday, listening to the outdoor U2 concert, which the wind carried over to us, starting with New Year's Day (link to very shaky video). I realised while listening that U2 involved a lot of firsts for me, including the fact that they were my first ever concert (in 1992) and the first song I ever heard on the radio: Bad, in 1984:

In other tidbits, playwright and author Jean Kerr was born on this day in 1923; I dearly loved her book Please Don't Eat the Daisies, about the adventures and delights of raising four boys, and hope I can find her other books in a second-hand bookstore someday. I won't add them to my wishlists... Got way too many books on there and in the To-Read pile as it is!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Award and 250 Followers!

Um, yes, I know I've been blabbing about the writers' houseparty. It's winding down now; all we've got left to do is save the universe.

One of our contributors, Ron Wodaski, has a lovely poem over on his blog.

And hey, I just noticed - I'm at 250 followers! *pauses to catch a breath*
Wow. Thanks so much everyone. May the writing and blogging and fun continue for us all!

And thank you to Su for the cute award!

I've got to list five books/films/TV programmes I've experienced in the last 12 months. Being me, I'm going to mention five books, sort of:

Aww, I should have waited till 15 July, then I could have mentioned Harry Potter. But I did reread Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Tales of Beedle the Bard before the last movie.

Then there was the anthology Songs of Love & Death, which featured a new short story by Diana Gabaldon.

Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L Sayers. I love England in the 1920s!

I read some more Cat Who... books! I still haven't read all the books in that series.

And finally, lots and lots of YA and MG - Lure by Deborah Kerbel, The Finnish Line by Linda Gerber, Legacy by Kate Kaynak, Devil's Eye by Kait Nolan, the Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson, Dancing Through the Snow by Jean Little, Break on Through by Jill Murray, Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau, Milo - Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg and Facing Fire by kc dyer.

I'll tag:







I always feel so badly having to choose! Everyone should get awards once in a while.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

ROW80, Flogometer, Vocabulary Quiz and Other Wordiness

Check in number one.

No editing on Out of the Water yet. I hope to visit all other ROW80ers sometime between now and Sunday, though!

Both projects have been derailed by the festival cum explosion cum drafting fest cum everybodydancenow that is the writers' houseparty at the Mall at the End of Time.

Here's a wee snip, featuring Rosa and Baha. Rosa's never seen a swing before, and they've just discovered one in the middle of the gardens on one side of the Mall:

"What should I be afraid of?"

He gave her a squeeze then pushed her off his lap. "Take a seat, Peri, and I'll swing you."

Glancing warily at him and then at the seat dangling from cold metal chains, she sat, tucking her skirts up underneath her. The cross bar the swing hung from was very high above her head.

"Extend your legs as you fly out, and tuck them under as you fall back," he told her, moving around behind her and placing his hands at her waist. "Ready?"

"Ye - no!"

He'd started running, pushing her as far as the chains extended, and then he skipped to the side and she was falling, falling back, rising up the other side, and as she came down he caught her again and heaved and she rose even higher, her toes nearly touching the overhanging branches of a willow outside the circle of sand.

Her stomach dropped as she dropped and the air rushed past her cheeks, and his hands caught her on each upswing and she thought, it doesn't matter where I am. As long as he's there, it'll always feel like this.

Submit an opening scene to the Flogometer! Fellow Forumite Dee-Ann has just had her exciting and mysterious opening critiqued.

Test your vocabulary! I got 37,900 words, which means I'm better than Shakespeare, but not up to Inky Fool standards. Think I'll reread a Diana Gabaldon novel - perhaps the just-released 20th anniversary edition of Outlander!

Have you ordered your copy yet?

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Round 3 of A Round of Words in 80 Days

Round 3 of A Round of Words in 80 Days begins tomorrow!

Here's the long history and details of the project, but in short, ROW80 lets you set you own goal.

"You take whatever project you are working on, in whatever stage it is in, and you figure out a goal for it, share it with us in a blog post that you link to when the challenge begins, and you join our community of dedicated writers and fellow cheerleaders."
But don't forget - this is the challenge that knows you have a life. So ROW80 allows you to change your goal should you need to. Easy, right? And you know every little bit of accountability helps you keep that butt in chair!

Click here to sign up for Round 3 of ROW80.

And oh yes, me. Here's what I've got going on and what I hope to accomplish with it:

First week of July - writers' houseparty on the Compuserve Books and Writers Community: I've thrown my two heroes in with one of my main villains and am trying to learn as much about their motivations as I can. Along with blowing up bombs, fending off feral sensual cats and painting masterpieces, etc. All par for the course.

All of July - Barbara Rogan's Revising Fiction Workshop is in full swing: got some thinking to do about my character's growth and changes throughout Out of the Water and have to make sure the tension rises and that the arc is consistent throughout. Without thinking about it in such cut and dry terms, however. And structure's just lesson one!

All of July - finish editing and revising and entering missing scenes to the last 60 pages of Out of the Water.

15 July - Harry Potter!

Happy writing all!

(gratuitous photo of my main characters, for inspiration)

Friday, 1 July 2011

Severus Snape. That Is All.

Severus Snape!

I have nothing original to say today, but yesterday, thanks to Theresa Milstein, I discovered these satirical Harry Potter film posters.

I re-posted a few of the Snape ones on my Facebook wall and Theresa called me on it (what she actually said was "I had no idea you had such a crush on Severus"), to which my reply, in writer-speak, was "he has the greatest character arc".

And it's true, he does. I'll never again recapture that moment when I first discovered, along with Harry, Snape's true motivations, but each reread makes me cry all over again.

For more Harry Potter fun, check out Laurel's Leaves on Wednesdays!

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • The Making of Outlander by Tara Bennett
  • Testament of Experience by Vera Brittain
  • Zoom sur Plainpalais by Corinne Jaquet
  • beta read! (JB)
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Sophie's Choice by William Styron
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
  • Burning Sky by Lori Benton
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • Istanbul Noir (Akashic Books anthology)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • The Children of Men by P. D. James
  • A Daughter's A Daughter by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • A Girl From Yamhill by Beverly Cleary
  • Sunlight by Margaret Rucker (poem; floating in a cocktail glass)
  • Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
  • Preface to The Hobbit, by Christopher Tolkien
  • Ilk Defa... by Beste Barki (essays)
  • Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers (essay)
  • The Moon and I by Betsy Byars
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  • Rogue Warrior by Regan Walker
  • Beauty and the Beast by Villeneuve
  • Black (what was this? I don't remember!)
  • Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani
  • Thomas the Tank Engine by Rev. Awry (26 book collection)
  • beta read (Born to Run by RB)
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson (poem)
  • Android's Dream by John Scalzi
  • The Mysterious Tadpole by Stephen Kellogg (reread)
  • Yashim Cooks Istanbul by Jason Goodwin
  • Miniatures by John Scalzi
  • Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
  • Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
  • All or Nothing by Rose Lerner (short story)
  • Merry Christmas, Emily (board book)
  • Extra Yarn by __ and Jan Klassen
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Outlandish Companion II by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Outlandish Companion I, Revised by Diana Gabaldon
  • MacHinery and the Cauliflowers by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Dileas by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Gold Watch by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • betty, butter, sun by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay by J.K. Rowling
  • The Very Cranky Bear (Scholastic)
  • various haiku by R. Wodaski
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
  • see the 2016 list and statistics at
  • see the 2015 list and statistics at
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at
  • 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