Breaking the rules of Romance one love story at a time.
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Summer not completely wasted...

In spite of having a house full of my own kids, and one of my nieces visiting for the summer, the break hasn't been a total wash as far as productivity goes.

Yes, we spend obnoxious amounts of time at the pool because, well, it's summer break and spending hours at the pool with your kids, getting tanned, and doing lots of poolside reading is what you're supposed to do on summer break. 

And when I say summer reading, I mean I've been doing a crap-ton of summer reading too. My daughter and I are reading/rereading the Harry Potter books and watching the movies together. Since break started I've finished book 4 & 5 (she's still on 5). She reads slower than I do so when I finish a book before she does, I moved on and read other things on my own. And from the looks of it, it might seem as though I've done literally nothing but read all summer. No. This was mostly audiobooks on the go more than physical books in my lap. 

So far:

  1. All 4 books of the Maggie Stiefvater's "The Raven King Cycle", which were amazing.
  2. Finished book 5 of the Game of Thrones Series (read the others earlier in the spring.) I generally hate fantasy and didn't think I would like them but I couldn't abide being seemingly the only person in the world who had never read them so... And in spite of myself, I LOVED THEM! 
  3. "Everything We Keep" by Kerry Lonsdale, and it was really good.
  4. Over the past two weeks I've binge-read Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series", and I'm currently in the middle of book 3. That's another one I'm late to the game because they aren't what I typically go for, but hubby read them so we already had them and I figured why not. Pleasantly surprised.  
  5. And last but not least, K.M. Weiland's "Outlining Your Novel" because I totally suck at outlining, but when I try to "pants" it I tend to get stuck and stall out halfway through. 

Also, on the productivity front, in addition to trying to learn how to properly outline, one tool I've been relying on to help me get a particular story back on track is Aeon Timeline. I've been singing the praises of this program for years and have always loved it. But it's always been something I use after the fact, once the story is written I can go through and make sure all the events line up and there are no inconsistencies with what has already been written. I've never fully appreciated or took advantage of how useful it was in the developmental stages until just recently. I'm working on another post about that - coming very soon.

Not on the productivity side of things... We traveled too. My oldest son graduated boot camp and we drove down to his graduation to pick him up. We spent a few days visiting with family and friends who came to join us and lots of fun was had by all. I never dreamed how hard it would be to put him on a bus when his 10 days of leave was up though. :(  

But to be honest, more than reading or work productivity, most of my summer has been spent on a backyard project. It's going slow because it's just me and one of my sons that I guilted into helping me. First, we live in a "forest" neighborhood and we've been raking/sawing down/pruning back some of the woods behind our house to expand our backyard. Also, the ground on the basement level of our house wasn't level enough to put down a patio so we've been manually excavating and leveling down there too. The goal was to have both projects finished before the end of summer, but the kid and I are turning out to be manual labor pussies and this was clearly too ambitious of us.  We're only going to get one done. Not giving up, but being a realist here. 

And that's it for now! I just felt bad that I've been too preoccupied to post for the past few months (!?! Since April? Really?!?) and thought I'd share an update on what is going on in my world, and why I've been so quiet. Hope everyone else is enjoying their summer as much as we are! If anyone has any good reading suggestions shoot me a message so I can decide what's next! 

Tabitha Drake