Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Six Books for Swap!

I've got a few books available for swap if anyone is interested. The ones that don't get swapped will possibly be featured in a giveaway in the near future, so keep an eye out for that!

Instructions for a Broken Heart Liesl & Po Clarity (Clarity Novel)

Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culberson (ARC)
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver (ARC)
Clarity by Kim Harrington (SIGNED ARC)

Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions Red Riding Hood Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, Book 3)

Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions (shorts stories by popular YA authors - ARC)
Red Riding Hood by Blakley-Cartwright/Johnson (Paperback, not the cover shown above)
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead - Vampire Academy #3 (Paperback)

Let me know if you're interested in any of these and what you've got to swap for it. 
A few titles I'm interested in, either ARC or paperback format for fair swappage:

Populazzi by Elise Allen
Sea by Heidi Kling
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Momento Nora by Angie Smibert
Past Perfect by Leila Sales
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
And a million trillion others!

Friday, August 26, 2011

What's up with all the movie photos released?

As much as I love seeing pictures from the upcoming Hunger Games movies, doesn't it feel like they're releasing quite a few of them? Especially seeing as they're still filming? And now there's a teaser trailer coming out this Sunday?? Despite my interest, I can't help feeling that it's a tiny bit premature.

We're seeing this a lot lately. The Twilight movies, The Hobbit, Snow White and the Huntsman. Is this a new trend in movie promotion/hype or has it been going on for a while and I'm just now noticing?

What do you think about this mini-spoilery? Does it seem like too much too soon, or does it help you get excited?  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fitness Check-In (That's me in the corner)

That's me in the corner... losing my motivation. Well, not completely. But in my pattern of health kicks, this is the time (week two/three) that I start getting SUPER frustrated because the results are SO SLOW to show themselves. Nothing has changed from last week. Nothing quantitative, anyway. I'm falling asleep much faster at night, but I'm the exact same weight I was last Thursday. Two measly pounds less than the Thursday before when I started this madness. It just seems like I've done... more. Throw me a freaking bone, scale.

But this is not me giving up. No no no. I have a few things with me in my corner that keep me going.

1) My organization this time around. Physically writing things down on paper (my weight every morning, followed by the calories the elliptical machine tells me I've burned, followed by any thing else I worked out) has helped a lot. Not only because I can see what I've accomplished, but because it makes me not want to have any holes on the calendar, except for my rest day, which has been Sundays.

2) Bones. Not only the bones that create the frame for my overweight body (stay strong! I'm drinking skim milk FOR YOU!), but Bones the television series. My GOSH am I addicted. Every day I chomp at the bit to get on that elliptical so I can watch another episode on my iPhone. Yes, yes, I watch an episode or two at home once in a while, but the rule is that I can't do that until I watch while working out first. Works wonders. :)

Something I'm considering implementing today is the weekly measure. I'm hopefully gaining muscle through this experience (weighs more than fat, right??), so perhaps it would be better to measure various places of the body and keep track of those? Anyone tried this before?

How has this past week been for you? Got any progress to report? What keeps you motivated?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Anyone Been to San Francisco?

This November, Handy and I will be celebrating our five year anniversary! We've only been in the same state (or country, in last year's case) as each other on our actual anniversary for year one. From what I can remember, we went to the Houston Zoo and a concert. This year, we're kicking it up a notch. We're considering San Francisco!

I've never even been to California, believe it or not. I'm looking forward to mild temperatures and lots of photo opportunities! We're not really wine drinkers, but I do want to drive north a bit and explore some vineyards. Maybe stay at a bed and breakfast for a night or two???

Any recommendations? Anything not worth checking out? Any AMAZING restaurants in San Fran? Any great hotels/B&Bs? To rent a car or rely on public transportation? These are my many questions.

I know I want to check out Alcatraz (apparently the last tour of the day is the best because it's dark and creepy and that's for me!), and I've heard something about a Fisherman's Wharf?

If you've got lots of recommends, feel free to email me (see CONTACT up on the navbar)! I'm in trip research mode right now, so any bit of info helps bunches! And if you've made any blog posts about your trip to San Fran with pictures, please direct me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Workout Inspiration - The K-Rae Method

Those two words commented on my last blog post inspired me to write this post (Thanks Deana!). Yes, I've been working out super hard this past week. I try to get to the gym every day, and my goal on the elliptical machine is 500 calories burned minimum.

A pound apparently equals 3500 calories, so my logic says, burn 500 calories a day, lose a pound a week. Eat better every day, shaving those surplus calories, lose another pound a week. I've only been in this serious mode since last Thursday, and I'm already over 2 pounds lighter on the scale. (YIPPEE!)

To keep track, I printed a little calendar from MS Word

and EVERY morning I get on the scale and write my weight at the top of that day's square. I think it's good for me to see how much weight fluctuates every day. I don't panic as much this way, seeing it all written out. As long as the average is continuing to drop, we're all good. 

After I go to the gym, I write the total calories the machine told me I've burned. I don't stop until I'm over 500. Netflix Instant for iPhone is a LIFESAVER. I warm up to music for a few minutes, then watch an episode of Bones, my current obsession, and when it's over, I'm done! Then I alternate days of arm machines and leg machines, so under my calories I write what else I worked on. So far, Sunday has been my rest day (after three days of pushing myself, my body was ready for a break). 

As far as eating, I've been loading up on fruits, veggies, and fresh meats. I also make sure I have some carbs and protein in me before a workout (or I get shaky and wimpy). 

So that's my current K-Rae method! I hope I can inspire more of you to work toward your goal (and keep it up myself!). All of my workout buddies are virtual (a friend makes me email them a picture of my calendar every day, and harasses me if I don't send it!), which I think is kind of funny, but it's better than having NO one to hold me accountable. 

If anyone is interested, I was thinking about doing a weekly blog post/check-in where we can share our goal woes and triumphs. Encourage each other. Positive reinforcement! I know I need it... because I'm needy. haha. 

On that note, off to the gym!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Five

I keep forgetting about these Friday Five things. I love reading them on other blogs, so here's mine for this week!

1. I worked out so hard yesterday, I was in bed before 9pm. I wouldn't mind making this a habit.

2. My TBR pile is drowning me. I think I'm actually reading SLOWER now because there's so many piled up and it makes me nervous. hahaha.

3. So, my new part time job is at a dentist office. I see and hear quite a bit... but one thing that had me laughing this week, was a little girl that only brushed the front of her teeth. The hygienist was talking to the parent about brushing habits and the little girl said, "I didn't know I was supposed to brush the inside too!" That made for one embarrassed parent!

4. I bought a French phrase book. I'm not sure why. I'll blame Stephanie Perkins.

5. My ten year high school reunion is in October... I now have ten weeks to lose 30 pounds. Not possible?? Okay. I suppose I could settle for 10. Off to the gym!  o_O

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Miscalculations and Word Counts

Sometimes... a miscalculation can be a good thing.

I'll admit it, I'm a bit obsessed with word count on my current project. I just think it's fascinating how I started with 0, and every time I sit down to work, the number climbs, sometimes higher than expected! It's just a rewarding part of the experience for me... my efforts all tidied up into a compact yet telling number.

This past week, I've been doing lazy math with my WIP word count. I use Scrivener, so each of my chapters are separate. I see individual word count, but not whole manuscript word count (which would be inaccurate anyway because I write all sorts of notes in one "chapter" slot and also put everything I cut into another slot). I have to add everything up by hand for the grand total. Well, last night, I thought I was about 500 words from 40,000, but today I added everything up on a new sheet of paper with pretty pen colors, and then added it again... because my actual current word count is 41,151!!

It's such a spiffy feeling to know I've written more than I thought I did. Makes working toward the next goal of 45k that much more exciting (and closer!). Seriously, seeing these higher numbers, I'm making even MORE time to write. Staying up late... sitting at my computer when I really should be house cleaning. And the story itself is starting to really swing too, so that helps ;)

What about you? Ever write more than you thought you did and got excited about it? Do you even pay attention to word count until after your first draft is done? Or does word count motivate you, like it does me?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Night Owl

Anyone consider themselves a night owl? I feel like one a lot, but not in the way you'd think. I don't stay out late... I stay UP late. The late hours of the night and wee hours of the morning seem to be when I get my best work done. But now that I have this job three days a week, I can't stay up as late as I'm tempted to.

Last night, for instance, I was just getting into a great writing grove, nearly at 3k words for the evening, but it got to be 11pm and I needed to TRY to get up at 6am. I'm one of those that pretty much need 8 hours of sleep (which those chances were already shot)... it betters my mood and functioning skills. It was such a struggle to make myself step away from the computer and go to bed, then a struggle to stop thinking about my story and fall asleep.

But when that alarm went off this morning, guess who was angry she didn't try to go to bed sooner?

What about you? Do you stay up too late to get things done? Or are you one of those... morning people? ;)

Friday, August 5, 2011

SIGNED Forever by Maggie Stievater Giveaway!!


Kristi is hosting a giveaway! Here are all the details!!

Recently Kristi *waves hi* had a chance to attend a Forever signing in NC
and snagged an autographed copy for one lucky winner
(click here to read and see photos from the signing) 
Here's the prize:

Haven't heard of Forever (btw-where have you been???)

Here you go:

Goodreads Description:
The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater

In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

All you have to do to enter is fill out the form and follow ONE of these blogs:

Don't worry you over achievers out there!
There are ways to get extra entries!
If you're a  huge Maggie fan like we are, you can follow, tweet, and post to your heart's content, just make sure to include the links on the form when you fill it out. One form per person, so try to fit it all in.

Other cool Forever links:


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lo Lo Lo Lo LOOOLA! (And the Boy Next Door, of course)


That's right! My most anticipated release for 2011, LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR!!

Lola and the Boy Next Door

The sweet and amazing Sarah from Sarah's Books & Life let me borrow the ARC that she won! (FOLLOW HER!!) So I flew through it, then I read it again... out loud! Yep! This past week, I've been reading Lola over the phone to my mom! Fun times!

Here's the summary from Goodreads:

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. 
When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. 

My thoughts: Stephanie Perkins made me fall in love with YA Contemporary with her debut, Anna and the French Kiss. She has a way about her storytelling that SUCKS ME IN! I'm completely addicted to everything about this book. The characters and all their delicious quirks. Lola and her insane outfits! Cricket and his... Cricket-ness... sigh. Anna and St. Clair (YES, YOU READ ME!). The bits about figure skating (former figure skating coach here, so I'm very partial). The PIES (MUST bake a pie, like, now). 

Stephanie is especially gifted at DRAWING OUT the SUSPENSE in the ROMANCE department! OMG it makes you want to yell JUST KISS ALREADY! But it had me turning those pages and falling in love right along with these characters. Characters that I know, personally. Because they're totally real. My new best friends. They can be yours too! You just have to wait until September 29th.

Looking forward to meeting Stephanie again in October at the Austin Teen Book Festival, where I will probably get another picture that looks like this one,

and which also has the POSSIBILITY of hosting the FIRST MEETING OF THE BOOKRUSHERS! I'm most definitely going, Kim Franklin is PROBABLY going, and Kristi Chestnutt is BEING HARASSED to make the trip to Texas so we can have a Kritique Group Weekend Getaway! I can't even tell you how excited I am about the possibility of meeting two of my best friends (sounds weird, I know, but you blogging peeps totally get me) for the first time ever!

Are you going?!