Saturday, October 1, 2016

Books Read in September 2016

Happy October!  September was a wonderful month for reading and I'm hoping that October will be the same.  This month I read some fiction and I also read quite a few shorter non-ficton titles my kindle.  Check them out below.

1. Black Diamond by Ali Dean


2. Camp Rolling Hills by Stacy Davidowitz

3. Judy Blume's Story by Betsy Lee


4. How I Made An Extra $1200 Per Month At Home Using One Free Website by Connie Brentford

5. Make Money Online: Use Fiverr to Make $1000+ A Month by Stacey Davidson

6. Make Money Online: How I Make $1700 Plus 40 Ways to Make Money Online by Stacey Davidson

7. Make Money Online With Kindle Publishing by Stacey Davidson

8. Real Jobs from Home: Make Money Online & Work from Home with 100+ Companies by Ellen Kampen

Take care,
Marian

Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Photos: Getting Ready for Fall!

Happy Friday!  It's been quite a long time since I did a photo Friday post so I wanted to share some of my pictures that I've taken the past couple of weeks.  The weather is getting colder and we have a lot of conference groups at work right now, so it's really starting to feel like Fall is here!


My boss is getting ready to go on vacation so she's given us a couple of weeks of schedules in advance.  Yay!  That means I can plan ahead.  I have all my work dates and doctor appointments in my planner and if you can't tell by my to-do list, I have been VERY productive lately.


The restaurant supervisor at work offered us iced coffees on Saturday and so how could we say no?  They were really quite delicious.  I love a good iced coffee.


I love all of the different Fall and Halloween coupons and sales.  I've only been coupon clipping for a couple of months now but I've really saved quite a lot!


Pumpkins!  There is nothing that I love more than pumpkins.  These are some of the nice decorations that the property services team at work has put out.  I love it!


I got some new reading glasses from CVS last Friday and I love them.  I think they make a difference when I'm working on the computer.


Mmmmmm!  Iced coffee!


I was at J.C. Penney a couple of days ago and they had a lot of different tops for sale.  I got a new flannel because I love how comfortable they are and it was only a couple of dollars.


This is a picture of the Judy Blume biography that I was reading.


I took a picture of myself after my date with Pat the other night because I was feeling good. :) We went out to dinner at this new sushi place on my side of town.


My Grandma and I went out to lunch the other day, partly in celebration for her birthday. We went to Viva at the Reading Country Club.  I got a barbecue pork flatbread and it was very delicious!  We also went to see Bridget Jones Baby which we both enjoyed.

Make sure to check back tomorrow.  I'll be posting about all of the books that I read during the month of September!

Take care,
Marian

Sunday, September 25, 2016

5 Things to Know About: Judy Blume's Story

1.  I picked up this book at a used book sale because I love Judy Blume's books and was interested to learn a little more of her life story and about her writing process.

2.  This was an interesting read because while this biography does explain how Judy got published, it also talks a lot about her early life and her family.

3.  I never realized how much her own life influenced her writing!  The book Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself was based very closely off of her own childhood in which her family moved from New Jersey to Miami and went through a lot of changes.  It makes me wonder if Judy sent fictional letters to Hitler like Sally did! Haha.

4. It was interesting to find out that there were a lot of similarities in her preteen years and Are You There God? it's me, Margaret.  Judy and her friends had a secret club, too.  Her first kiss was with the school heart throb too, just like Margaret's was with Philip Leroy.

5.  Judy's early twenties were focused mainly on her marriage and her children, until she realized that her life was missing the creativity that it used to have when she was in school.  She started writing on the side and her first published work was Iggie's House.

Pretty cool, huh?  I'm glad I got to learn these facts that I may not have learned otherwise about this author I like.

Read my review of Iggie's House here!

Book mentioned in this post:
1. Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself
2. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
3. Iggie's House

Take care,
Marian

Saturday, September 24, 2016

How to Make Your Desk More Comfortable


Every writer has their own place where they feel most comfortable working.  Some people like to write in coffee shops and others like to write in comfy places like their bed, but I choose the traditional.  When I am getting work done, I am most productive when I'm sitting at my desk.

But if you're going to work long hours at your desk, you need to make sure that it is a comfortable and inspiring environment.  Below are some items that I think are very integral to a good writing/work environment.

1.  Great Lighting

One of the most important things about your workplace is the lighting.  Always have a good lamp. You want to be able to see well in order to avoid eye strain.

p.s.  My brother has one of these lamps and I want one so bad.  Haha!

2.  Supportive Chair

I prefer to have a rolling chair in my office (ok, ok.  My office is actually my bedroom) because I keep a lot of notes in different binders and files and I need to have flexibilty so that I can look at them every now and then.

3.  Keyboard Wrist Support

If you type a lot (as most writers do) you're going to need some wrist support for when you are working at your desk.  My Mom has had both of her wrists operated on for carpel tunnel and so I like to make sure I'm taking care of my wrists.

4.  Art for your Walls

One of my favorite ways to stay inspired is by hanging art on my walls.  I will share a picture of my own writing space soon (Once I clean up my room) but you can find all kinds of cool art online.  I like to buy cool postcards or art prints from Etsy and Society 6.

Take care,
Marian

Thursday, September 22, 2016

10 Writing Blog Recommendations

I've been writing this blog post for a couple of months now, and I'm please to announce that I finally finished it.  Yay!  As you can tell from the title, I'll be sharing with you some of my favorite writing blogs.  If you're a fellow writer, I hope you find some inspiration and great tips.  These bloggers are very knowledgable and I enjoy reading their websites a lot.

1. She's Novel

Kristen's blog is one of the first blogs that made me realize that there are people out there who just love writing about the thing that they love (and by that, I mean writing!).  Her articles are extremely helpful and she retweets a lot of interesting articles on twitter so you should follow her there as well! If you visit her site, you can also find out about her #Writeboss eCourse (it's free!) and some other resources.

2. Blots & Plots (Jenny Bravo)

The links are the same, but since I started writing this article I believe Jenny has rebranded to her own name, Jenny Bravo.  She is the author of Moments Like These, Those Were the Days, and These Are the Moments, all of which she self published herself.  I used to like reading her self publishing reports that she did.  Her posts are filled with great information that I assume she collects from her own writing and publishing experiences.  Take this blog post for example: Ten Crazy Realities About Writing A Sequel

3. Mandy Wallace (Write or Die)

I like Mandy's blog because she writes about ALL kinds of writing, from freelancing to blogging to publishing.  She also talks about topics like how to deal with writer's block and When Your Writer Brain is Fried.  I feel very inspired when I read her posts and I also love all of the Pinterest groups she started for writers.  Her group pinterest boards have introduced me to some excellent blogs and writing topics.

4. Nicole L'Autore

I first found out about Nicole on twitter and then I found her blog.  I cherish her site because I can relate a lot to her articles like Untangle From The Social Media Comparison Trap and 5 Snappy Comebacks to Silence Your Inner Critic.  I especially like the latter because being critical of my own work is something that I struggle with a lot.

5. Just Write A Book Blog

I like Angela Booth (and her sites/blogs) because she focuses on writing commercial fiction and getting published on kindle  While quality is more important than quantity (most of the time), I appreciate it and find it inspiring to read her posts on how you just need to write something and send it out into the world (after editing, of course!).

6. Inks and Quills

Kaitlin is a writer/blogger who I found out about from twitter. Haha!  That seems to be something I'm saying quite frequently.  I didn't even know she had a blog at first but then I started seeing more and more of her writing posts pop up on Pinterest.  Her posts are always interesting and she's developed some awesome resources like Conquer Your Writing Life and The Story Binder to help you stay organized and get stuff done!

7. Write to Done

I find this site to be a could source of information on a variety of topics.  A lot of there articles are in list format and focus on topics like plotting, finding time to write, and other useful practices.

8. The Write Practice

This is a writing site that has a lot of different contributors.  I appreciate all of the different viewpoints of the different contributors even if I don't necessarily agree with them.

9. Little Novelist

This blog is run by Rhianne, who I would say is very active on twitter and in the writing community. I love that her site focuses on both books AND writing, because that's what I do too!  Sign up for her Novelista Collective to get awesome resources to help with your writing.

10. The Creative Penn

I first started following Joanna on twitter which then led me down the rabbit hole of listening to all of the back episodes of The Creative Penn podcast.  I love Joanna's cheerful personality on the podcast and she has some really fascinating topics that she covers with her podcast guests.  If you're looking for some positivity and motivation to keep going, check out her work and her site.

That's all for now!  But with that being said, there are so many other fabulous writers/authors/aspiring authors with websites chock full of creative blog posts and tips.  I might have to do an update in a few months with a Part II blog post.

Take care,
Marian

Friday, September 16, 2016

5 Things to Know About Camp Rolling Hills

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.  All opinions are my own!

Get your own copy here!

It's Summer again and everybody is thrilled that it's time to head back to Camp Rolling Hills for another summer of sports, arts & crafts, and just general together-ness.  Stephanie (a.k.a. Slimey) is pretty much leading the pack in excitement.  She's pretty much recovered from her Dad passing away last summer and can't wait to be back with her bunkmates and her best friend, Melman.

Meanwhile, new camper Bobby (a.k.a. Smelly) is in another boat.  Normally he attends baseball camp but his parents wanted him to go away for the Summer so that they could try to "work things out" so that's how he wound up at Camp Rolling Hills.  After he meets his bunkmates for the first time, he's not sure if he wants to try to fit in, or start running in the opposite direction as fast as possible.

1.  Summer Camp!  I love a good Summer Camp story, as do a lot of people.  Just look at Michael Showalter's (co-writer of Wet Hot American Summer) quote on the front cover.  This book is filled with so much humor and fun and it's clear that Stacy Davidowitz is very familiar with all things camp.

2. I loved the characters!  First there's the girl's cabin which is led by counselor Sara.  I laughed so hard at all of their interactions with each other whether it was The J Squad shrieking at each other or Slimey consoling her counselor.  Everything was really clever.

3.  The boys cabin was funny in a lot of different ways.  The scene where they try to come up with a nickname for Bobby is hilarious.  I also laughed as they gave a rundown of everybody else's nicknames, like Totle and Play Dough.  Their counselor Rick was funny too.  I liked how he was able to work with Bobby and teach him guitar.

4.  A lot of the different things that went on made me feel nostalgic for childhood, like dances and first crushes and those care free summer days where you don't have to worry about anything besides not getting sunburn.  Not gonna lie, the final campfire scene definitely warmed my heart.

5.  There is another book!  2 more books!  I have a copy of the second one for review so you can expect me to read & review that on the blog within the next couple of weeks.

Sure, Camp Rolling Hills is a middle grade book, but it's filled with humor and will make you smile. I recommend this book to you if you like nostalgia and summer and summer camp!  Also, if you have any kids or know any kids you should definitely have them check it out.  I would have loved a book series like this when I was a kid! :)

P.S.  Do you like books about Summer & Summer Camps?  Check out these reads for some similar stories.


Take care,
Marian

Thursday, September 15, 2016

20% Off @ Quietly Written (on Etsy)

Hey Blog Friends!  Hope you're all doing well.  I have just a quick blog update today and it's a good one -- I'm having an Etsy shop sale!  That's right.  From now until September 30, 2016 you can get 20% off your order.  If you've been meaning to purchase a zine, now's your chance to get an even greater deal on one.

Take your time, and take a look!  If you purchase anything, leave a comment here and I'll also send you a special gift.

Take care,
Marian
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