Wkly Brief – Reading Round-up

The clock’s counting down to November . . .clock

Usually, the first week of each month has me  putting together lists for my readers.  Two things that I usually do include:

  1. Updating my Twitter Authors page with five new books to read, all found by researching authors that follow me on Twitter.
  2. Filling my Monthly Reading List  with books either read or anticipated.


But with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starting in less than 50 hours, I won’t have time next week to update these two lists next week. But never fear! Instead, I’m providing those updates today.

Check out the books I read in October, all three of which were entertaining and interesting. And while there, scroll down to see what’s lined up for November.  One of the titles already downloaded to my Kindle is Live Free or Die by Jessie Crockett.

Still not finding a book that catches your fancy? Consider reading a book from my Twitter Author Archives.


Beginning on Sunday my posts will chronicle my NaNoWriMo nuttiness, Scrivener skirmishes, and other trials and tribulations related to addressing my editing and IT flaws.

Stay tuned . . .

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Battling My Blue Day – One Writer’s Angst

Golf Bag Lamp

Blues-battling artifact seen on Antique Alley Day.

My angst started unexpectedly, easing toward my brain through an unknown backdoor.

It started on my drive home from a night out. My husband had taken me out to watch the Costa Rica vs. Trinadad and Tobego Women’s CONCACAF soccer semi-final. While we munched on chicken wings and watched the game, I was in one of those top-of-the-world moods. My writing had progressed consistently for three months, with my first novel well underway and ideas for two, maybe three more percolating. Creative, kind people are sharing ideas, reading my work, and providing encouragement. On this emotional high I decided to challenge myself further and was sharing my decisions with my husband.

  • I’m signing up for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), where I am committing to write 50,000 words in November, which is the equivalent of The Great Gatsby (in words, not quality).
  • I am going to write a completely new novel.
  • I am going to write it using Scrivener.

Because I work full-time, I need my husband’s support to achieve my November goals.   We’ll be eating frozen foods and I won’t help much with cleaning and laundry (what else is new?).  I am fortunate, because my husband not only supports my latest whim, but helped me brainstorm how I might get derailed:

  • We calculated the hours available and discussed how the Thanksgiving holiday might impact my goals.
  • We discussed how to avoid immersion in Scrivener’s bells and whistles instead of writing (I am a techie, after all).
  • We talked about the challenge of writing without editing, a skill with which I struggle (I just edited this sentence…).

Then, on the way home, with a plan in place and the support of a great guy, the angst slipped past my prefrontal cortex and took my amygdala hostage.

“What are you thinking.  You can’t even finish one novel, much less start and finish a second novel. And you’re going to ‘extract’ a plot-line from your current novel and turn that into a complete novel? You sure know how to make your life complicated.  And what’s this about learning a new software? In a week? Your nuts. Can’t be done.  Not without you getting completely distracted. Whatever. Go ahead, but now you’ll have two unfinished novels and a wasted month. Rah-rah. Aren’t you amazing.”

Luckily, I recognized my inner critic, who is a rather caustic friend. She must have been vacationing for the last three months because she had been very quiet. She returned when I frightened her by my plans to step out of my safe box. She always shows up when it looks like I’m going to mess up my neatly organized life.

Before confronting my nemesis, I needed to recharge my creative battery. So yesterday, after enjoying breakfast with friends, I spent the rest of the day on Antique Alley in Northwood, NH, driving from shop-to-shop, and enjoying art and re-purposed pieces.  Discovering that most antiques are dark and dreary, I made it my mission to find colorful and shiny artifacts to brighten my day and pull me out of my funk.

Blue Day

Eye-catching objects from Antique Alley day.

By the end of the day, having spent little other than my time, I felt recharged and ready to confront my inner critic.

Not much of her criticism was true.  I assured her that while it will be difficult, I will overcome my techie nature and my unstoppable editing; and I will write an average of 2,000 words a day.  It won’t be easy, but I will do it.  On the other hand, I decided my inner critic was right about one thing: extracting a plot from my current novel is not wise.  Instead I will write a fresh new novel, one that has been plaguing me for years.

ScrivenerWith my creativity fully recharged, I am now ready to prepare for NaNoWriMo. Because your support has been crucial to my writing, I invite you to journey with me.  Starting November 2nd, my Sunday and Wednesday posts be short updates on my My Writing Journey.  I’ll share with you my stressors, my creative rechargers, and perhaps some of my better-written paragraphs or chapters.

I hope you will join me.


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Wkly Brief – Forced Improvement

Barbara Rath:

Galena, ILToday I found this post on ‘forcing yourself to improve’. I share it with your tonight, a night that I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. This post reminds me that by waking each morning before 5 AM to write, I am living my dream. I am forcing myself to grow and improve.

I hope you find inspiration in this author’s words.

Originally posted on Superordinary:

Gary Cohn owes his first job on Wall Street to a cab ride1.

Cohn was twenty-two and working as a salesman for U.S. Steel in Cleveland. On one particular day, he found himself in Long Island and decided to venture down to Wall Street. While he was there, he decided he wanted a job.

The only problem? Cohn didn’t know anything about finance.

Since he had no connections on Wall Street and little experience that would qualify him for a job, he couldn’t pursue the ordinary route of handing in a resume. So, he went after a different angle. He stood outside of the commodities exchange until he overheard a well-dressed man catching a taxi to LaGuardia. Without missing a beat, Cohn asked if they could share a cab ride.

This gave Cohn an hour in the car with a higher up in one of the top brokerage firms on Wall Street.


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Open Letter to FIFA Ballon d’Or Contenders

Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach, Pittsford, NY Youth Clinic: Grass does grow in northern climates.

Women soccer players throughout the world have filed an application with the human rights tribunal in Ontario, Canada. Their request: provide the same pitch quality that men have had in every World Cup (and will have in 2018 and 2022) for the women’s most prestigious soccer event, the Women’s World Cup.

I have spent the day researching this issue and there is agreement on one item: turf creates a different game. The ball rolls faster, bounces differently.  The game is faster and requires a different degree of skill. This is not a problem for professional women soccer players. They can adjust their game to handle the speed and unpredictability of the ball.  For me the issue is equality and injury prevention.

Some research (see list below) indicates that there is no Continue reading

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World Cup Soccer – The Women’s Turn

USA Women's National TeamThe Women’s National Soccer Team’s journey to capture one of the 24 spaces in the 2015 Soccer World Cup is underway.  For results, schedule, and other facts, check out my Weekly Brief – World Cup Soccer: The Women’s Turn.

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