RoW80 – chugging along

This seems like a silly check-in for me.

1.  Still planning on NaNo…no real changes here.  Book 2 is becoming a more solid plot/idea/design, which I think will help come NaNo with Book 1.  I think I’m going to start reviewing my outlining for Book 1, plug in any more details, smooth out a couple hiccups.  And then maybe let it rest until November 1st.  Maybe I’ll watch a movie (on that note I watched Labor Day this weekend…I loved it, loved it!  It’s definitely not for everyone, it’s slow, it’s all about character, I think there is substantially more time without dialogue than with dialogue and virtually no action scenes…but still amazing.  My crush on Kate Winslet continues.)

2.  Whoop, whoop.  I finished this goal last week.

3.  Honestly, I’ve been writing.  Buuutttt…I write everything by hand.  And quite frankly I haven’t counted my words this week.  I got a lot written the other night…so…I’m good 🙂

4.  Still not rereading, going to go over my snowflake outline.  This outline is NOT the big outline I’ve been working on, more of a condensed one, so I don’t consider it cheating.  Also, I kind of need to do it if I’m going to go forward.

5.  No flash fiction so far this week.  But the prompt has been posted (I get my prompts from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields – Addicted to Purple) and I feel like if I sit down I could come up with something.  So maybe I need to sit down.  No excuses, I got to get one written.

So not a lot has changed since my last check-in, but it’s still nice to actually think about what I have accomplished in the past few days.  Especially when at first thought it didn’t seem like much, but I think I’m chugging along just fine 🙂 .  So maybe it’s not so silly after all.

Also, I’m having a really hard time naming the groups/society/city/country in my story.  I’ve named the individual characters but none of the larger groups.  Does anybody else have this problem?  Right now my names are: the Group, the Elite, the City…I’m not even kidding.  On that same train, I still have no idea about a book title…hence I refer to the books as Book 1 and Book 2.  At least I capitalize them, right?  So what advice can you give to someone who’s struggling with naming larger entities?

RoW80 – Feeling Good

Since my last check in, when I hadn’t accomplished a whole lot of tangible work, I’ve done a bit of writing.

1.  I didn’t count how many words I wrote, but I got a decent amount of writing done on my novel.  I also couldn’t sleep last night, but I refused to get out of bed to read/write.  So instead I thought a lot about my book.  I made a little bit of plot headway, but it definitely helped me untangle a few things that needed to be untangled.

2.  Still not reading my first draft.  Which, I’ve pretty much downgraded from first draft to detailed outline…

3.  Wrote a flash fiction, which (especially considering I haven’t done one in a couple weeks) was actually pretty decent.  I definitely struggle putting plot into a 100 word count piece.  I’m great for a description, but plot…well…maybe…or maybe I’ll just hint at a plot.  I felt there was more plot to this last one than most of my recent attempts.  So, improvement! I’ll take it.  But if you’re interested in reading it, here’s that post.

All right.  Hopefully I can maintain this slow steady progress towards my goal!

Randomness

39 weeks pregnant!

And as exhausted, uncomfortable, and ready as I may be for this peanut to pop out, this peanut is not very ready.

I’ve gained 27 pounds, and not that I’m particularly concerned about the number, mostly just intrigued, I am excited to see that number creep back down.

I’ve started incorporating prunes…err…dried plumes… in my diet.  Not because I necessarily need the help now, but I definitely remember the fear that comes post delivery.  For those of you that have given birth, you know what I’m talking about.  I figure some preemptive work on my part will come in very handy in the next few weeks.  That and I really like prunes, I mean, dried plums.  They’re just so tasty.  Much tastier than prune juice, which is what I had to utilize after SweetPea was born.

My husband’s first season as a soccer coach has officially kicked off (no pun intended…seriously, I wrote it and then realized it was punny).  His first game was against the cross town rivals.  We tied.  Which was pretty good for our team considering their record for the past several years.  Now he’s on an away game.  It just started 3 minutes ago and I really wish I could have gone, but we figured that driving 3 hours away from my doctor was a sure fire way to go into labor.  Hmm…maybe I should have gone.

I made a peach banana smoothie this morning.  So SweetPea had smoothie-mustache.  That was pretty cute.  Until it smeared with her snotty nose snot…awww the first fall cold…

I’m rereading Harry Potter.  It’s so good.

I also just finished The Night Circus.  Now that was a ridiculously good book.  And I recommend everybody read it.

It might only be 10 in the morning, but I’m already thinking about lunch…and how I want pizza.

Stop Those Painters! – Rita Golden Gelman

Funny

Whimsical

Entertaining

And my two year old is not the only one to like this book!  Both  my husband and I enjoy reading this book to her.  Perhaps it’s because the rhymes are reminescent of Dr. Seuss.  Perhaps it’s because the pictures are so outlandish.  Maybe it’s because it’s so easy to memorize that we don’t need to read it anymore (which is key when reading to a two year who really likes turning pages).

Then again it’s probably because the book is easy to memorize.  Which means I get to hear my cute little two-year-old SweetPea “read” the book to me.  And her interpretation is way better than anything I could come up with.

So my two-year-old likes this book.  My husband enjoys/tolerates this book.  I like this book.  That means it’s a winner as far as I’m concerned.

Stop Those Painters!

Stop Those Painters!

Jillian Jiggs – Phoebe Gilman

Cute

Energetic

Bright

I was first introduced to this book when I was a kid.  My parents gave it to me.  Probably because I (like Jillian) had a very VERY messy room.  I loved the book.  And now I’m so excited because SweetPea is finally able to sit still long enough to listen to all most of the book in just one sitting.

This is simply a whimsical story about a young girl who is forced to clean her room.  And she does!  Unfortunately (for the girl’s mom), as soon as it’s clean her imagination begins to take hold and she follows it through several stories.  Each time her room gets messier and messier.

It’s a simple book with cute rhymes and cuter illustrations (also done by Phoebe Gilman).  The story is driven by a young girl and her friends (imagine that, I like that the lead is a girl).  And it’s not too long for toddlers to stay interested in it (or adults, for that matter).

But if you’re looking for a book to teach your kid to keep their room clean, this probably isn’t it…at least, it never worked for me.  It’s more about having fun and living out anything you imagine.  Which, I think, is even better than a clean room 🙂 .

Baby Books

I’ve passed the halfway mark of my pregnancy.  21 weeks down, only 19 to go!

As I get further along I keep thinking about things I did while pregnant with or shortly after giving birth to SweetPea that made things easier for me.  And while there are a lot of things I did, a few books keep popping up.  These are the books that I keep recommending to my pregnant friends and kept mentioning to husband/family/friends about how they saved my life/sanity/marriage.

I’m a pretty laid back mom, and I like to think that some of that relaxed attitude rubbed off on my daughter, because she too is pretty laid back.  But maybe I just got lucky…either way, hopefully I can maintain that attitude and infuse this next with some of that low key vibe.  But as laid back as I was, I still try to do my very best, and sometimes that involved the help of others.  Especially people with more experience with kids.  Such as the authors of these books.

So I have three books that I think are quite possibly the best books for new parents.  Seriously, the best.  So if you’re looking for some good advice, knowledge, or recipes…this is what I recommend.  Not that there aren’t other amazing books out there, these just happened to teach me exactly what I needed to know (at least at the time).  Without further ado…

1.  Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth.  This book helped my sanity so much.  There were so many things about babies and their sleep that I just didn’t know.  For example: I thought babies would just fall asleep when they were tired…I didn’t know that if you put them down to nap it might take a few minutes but that they would fall asleep.  And most importantly they needed that sleep.  Another example: babies/kids/adults who get overly tired will have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep.  So putting babies/kids/parents to bed earlier will enable them to sleep better throughout the night and to sleep longer into the morning.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

Now maybe this book is full of hogwash.  All I’m saying is that my kid rarely fusses about going to nap or bed.  And she is happily in bed and asleep from 8pm until 7:30 or 8am (sometimes as late as 9am).  And I know how lucky I am.  I also think that this book helped us get on that sleep schedule, and for that I am eternally grateful.

2.  The second book I needed to read was The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp.  This book was amazing.  The tricks we learned from this book worked more often than not.  They also helped us feel a little more empowered during the time when our entire existence seemed to be controlled by a 5 pound twerp.  This book gives several methods to calm a fussy and crying baby.  And as we all know, a fussy and crying baby leads to a fussy and crying mom (or was that only in my house), so having methods to minimize the fuss is priceless.

The Happiest Baby on the Block

When we were in the hospital after delivery we had to watch the dvd for this book.  I must admit, that dvd was even better than the book.  Actually seeing/hearing some of the methods was incredible.  The shushing is so much louder than what I imagined it while reading the book…it’s actually kind of harsh to my ears, but it was sweet music to my baby.  If you have the opportunity, you should watch this dvd.

3.  The last book is one you probably won’t need too much during that first year, but if you’re interested in cooking healthy foods that your toddler (and husband) will actually eat, this book might just be your ticket.  The book is Weelicious by Catherine McCord.  The recipes in it are very healthy.  They also are presented in different ways to keep kids interested in trying new flavors and textures.  Also, a lot of recipes make pretty big batches, so you can freeze a bunch and keep them on hand.  It’s pretty nice to have a stocked freezer ready to go for those days when I’m not so motivated to cook.

Weelicious

This book also has a website, called Weelicious.com (easy enough).  So if you want to check out some of the recipes I highly recommend you head over there.  There are lots of recipes not found in the cookbook on the website (and some in the cookbook that aren’t on the website).  It also has some videos going through recipes.  It’s a really good resource for toddler food.

I also mentioned a weelicious recipe in another post, you can read about that here.

So there you have it.  If you or someone you know is having a kid (or recently had a kid) here a couple pretty amazing resources.

I Am Number Four – Pittacus Lore

Aliens

Super powers

Lame-o love story

I must admit, I enjoyed this book.  I’ve called books gateway drugs in a previous post.  And this book falls into that category.  It was delightful to read.  Granted, throughout the book I criticized it: poor choices…poor dialogue…poor love story.  Did all of those flaws stop me from reading the book?  No.  Did they slow me down?  No.

Will I stand on the rooftops and proclaim this the best book I’ve read in the past week?  Heck no.  But did it keep me entertained?  Yes, yes it did.  Is it currently introducing young teens to the sci fi genre?  Yes, yes it is.  Will those teens go on to read other books?  Hopefully, oh hopefully.

So, do I recommend this book?  I’m going to be a little ambiguous about this.  I think that if you are able to read books without getting caught up in flaws (as long as they’re not tooooo big) and you want some light hearted reading for a couple hours, this could be an option.  Then again, I could recommend some much better easy reads that you will probably enjoy more.  So maybe, read it if you want.  Like it for what it is: a simple story with a simple (albeit predictable) plot line.

I am Number Four – Pittacus Lore

Spoiler alert:  The best part of this book was the dog.  I’m not even kidding.  But as you know, in books, dogs die.  Not. In. This. Book.  Finally a book where the dog lives.