Wednesday, 31 July 2013

What's Up Wednesday/Ready. Set. WRITE!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! If you’d like to participate in What’s Up Wednesday and/or Ready. Set. WRITE! you can sign up on Jaime Morrow’s blog. We’d love it if you’d join us in sharing your writing goals and what’s happening in your world lately.

What I’m Reading:

You know those books that ruin you for reading anything else afterward? That was Wanderlove for me. I so wish this one had been written when I was a teen. Maybe it would have encouraged me to take more risks. Not backpacking in a foreign country with some strange (albeit hot) dude mind you, because NOT A GOOD IDEA GIRLS. Side note: I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of the story though, and don’t think Kirsten Hubbard was encouraging girls to be unsafe, just to be clear. I loved the characters and the way they grew, the gorgeous yet realistic setting descriptions, the sense of adventure. I thought it was every bit as good as the best reviews it’s received.

So, to make sure I followed it up with something that wouldn’t disappoint, I decided to read another book that’s been on my TBR list for a disgustingly long period of time. I’m now about three quarters of the way through The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and I’m completely in love with it.

What I’m Writing:

I had two goals this past week. First, I was supposed to revise the new material I added to my ms, which I did. Second, I committed to writing at least 1000 words on my current WIP.  I ended up adding roughly 4800 words. Since revisions went smoother than I anticipated, I was able to do better than I thought I would on my drafting goal.

This week, writing is going to be a little mixed up. The other day, I came to the realization that one particular event needs to happen sooner in my WIP, which means shuffling several scenes and rewriting bits and pieces. My first goal is to get those scenes sorted out, do the necessary rewriting, and smooth the new transitions between them. In addition to that, I’d like to finish another three scenes.


What’s Inspiring Me Right Now:

Maybe not so much inspiring as scaring me. There’s only one month of summer left. Well, one month until school starts. Where has the time gone? There are still way too many things I need to get done, including an even bigger chunk of my WIP. Time to get the butt in gear before fall hits.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

While this was a busy week, it wasn’t terribly exciting. That’s okay, because usually not-terribly-exciting equals a fair amount of writing done.

One project I jumped into is paring down our book collection. I’m not kidding when I say we basically have our own library and it’s gotten ridiculous. This is largely due to one particularly amazing used book sale we attend every spring. When you’re buying books for a buck or two, it’s easy to think you’ll get around to reading them someday when really you won’t. Then there are books people have given us over the years that just aren’t our thing, others we bought ourselves but really didn’t care for, the ones my son has outgrown, and some that frankly I don’t know how the heck they made it onto our shelves in the first place. I’m still not done weeding, but there’s a huge box plus a few large piles on our rec room floor. It turned out to be a bigger job than I thought, but I’m proud of myself for giving up on my book hoarder tendencies.  Okay, fine. There’s still an obscene amount left, and we'll probably fill up the shelves again in no time.

A while back, I mentioned that my hubby brewed some Coffee & Donut stout and a Maple Chocolate porter. I helped with the first batch, and we were finally able to taste test it this past weekend. Both turned out great, but the Coffee & Donut stout was amazing. Like even better than the usual store bought coffee stout my husband gets. Just thought I’d follow up with the delicious results on that.

Oh, and this past Friday, I posted a Love List for the story I'm soon to begin querying again. If you'd like to take a peek at that, you can find it just below this post.


So what’s up in your little corner of the writing community this week?

52 comments:

  1. Yummy, stout! Combine that with writing and well. . .an interesting story ;)
    Glad to hear you've gotten so much writing done this week - YAY! Hope you get those scenes changed around nicely this next week.

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    1. The stout was very yummy! And yes, drinking it while writing could definitely produce some interesting story twists. As for changing around my scenes, I think I have a pretty good idea how to go about it now, so hopefully that means smooth writing! :)

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  2. Your husband and my husband would probably get along fantastically. We just went to a beer tasting last night featuring a local brewery and the husband was in his element. :) Also, congrats on the progress with the new story! That's awesome! Hope you have another productive week as well!

    Off to check out that love list! Aren't they fun?!

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    1. I think you're right about that! I told my husband you guys were going to a beer tasting and he was jealous. I'll have to see if there are any beer tasting events in my area and plan that as a surprise for him.

      I'm so glad you decided to post your Love List! That was a great idea, and I found compiling one was a much needed reminder of why I love my story. :)

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  3. Hi Erin! I'm dropping in from Crystal Collier's blog to let you know you're the winner of a copy of QUEST OF THE HART. Congratulations on guessing my lie!!!!

    If you would contact me by e-mail (mewaibel(at)gmail(dot)com) I'll get that out to you! Congrats again.

    Oh, BTW- you have a very lovely blog.

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    1. Sweet! I've never won a book giveaway before! Thanks for giving away a copy of your novel and for the compliment on my blog! :D

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  4. Okay, now I have to read WANDERLOVE. You're the third person who has said it's fantastic. Oh, and by the way, I read OUTLANDER this past weekend. Actually, I inhaled it...in 2 days. Now I have an irresistible urge for some kilted lad to start calling me Sassenach all the time. (Thought I should share that) :)

    And congrats on all your fantastic writing this week!! I recently had to move a section in my WIP and it was like trying to play twister with a colorblind sloth. I'm still trying to fix everything.

    And I love your description of clearing out your bookshelves. We should start an AA group for book hoarders. I'll be your first member. :)

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    1. You should definitely read WANDERLOVE! I know you like to travel, so it would probably be a perfect book for you. And I'm so glad you enjoyed OUTLANDER! The only thing better than a book you can't put down is a book with dudes in kilts. :D

      Playing twister with a colorblind sloth is exactly what moving scenes is like lol! Every time I think I have it figured out, I rationalize it another way and it's just a tangled mess. I think I finally know how to go about it though, so hopefully that bodes well for writing this week.

      And yes, a support group for book hoarders is a good idea! My family always jokes that if there's ever some kind of apocalyptic event that wipes out all electronics at least we'll have a big library to keep us busy! :P

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  5. I scaled down my book collection earlier this year and it felt so good to finally let go of things I was never going to read. Most were used book sale finds, that I kept telling myself I'd read one day...meanwhile years had passed and they were collecting dust.

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    1. It's kind of freeing isn't it? I figure there are new books coming out all the time, so there's no reason to hang onto the ones that I know I'll never read/reread. Seriously, some of these books were completely outdated (and by that I don't mean classics). And yes, they were literally collecting dust. My contact lenses and my allergies took a beating!

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  6. I loved WANDERLOVE, too!
    Congrats on all your writing, and on the book organizing project. It's time for me to clean some of my shelves. The apartment building I live in has a library for residents, and I might pull some titles for it. [And that way, I'm not really getting rid of any books :) ]

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    1. Wasn't it an awesome book? The description on the cover just doesn't do it justice. I loved that the author included her own illustrations too.

      I've never heard of an apartment building that has a library for residents. That has to be one of the best ideas I've heard! What a convenient way for you to donate too. Good luck cleaning your book shelves. :)

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  7. WANDERLOVE is fantastic! I read it last summer, about a week before I left for a 2 week school trip to South Africa, and it definitely helped my mindset. Kirsten Hubbard is my writer crush for sure. Have you read her first novel, LIKE MANDARIN? It's beautiful as well, she has an amazing writing style!

    Good luck with your goals this week!

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    1. I can see how WANDERLOVE would get you in the right frame of mind for travelling! I haven't read LIKE MANDARIN yet, but I definitely plan to now. I loved that Kirsten Hubbard included some of her own artwork too. What a cool touch! I think anyone wanting to know more about writing a good setting could learn a thing or two from her.

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  8. I've donated books to my library--newer ones that either weren't read or were hardcover and stood up a little better. You can even write it off on your taxes :) It's tough to part with books, but at least if they are being passed on, hopefully someone else can enjoy.

    And I echo all the Kirsten Hubbard love. I really liked both of her books; stellar YA contemporary.

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    1. We usually donate our books to our local symphony. They're the ones who sponsor the monster used book sale responsible for overcrowding our shelves in the first place. Kind of ironic. :D

      After reading WANDERLOVE, I really need to put LIKE MANDARIN on my TBR list. Kirsten Hubbard is a crazy talented author.

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  9. Wanderlove has been on my radar for a while, I really need to pick it up! The Scorpio Races is one of my favorite books of all time, always jealous of people reading it for the first time! Glad revisions are going smoothly, always makes going back a bit easier.

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    1. Maggie Stiefvater's prose amazes me. While I'm eager to get to the end of THE SCORPIO RACES, I'll be so sad to finish. Both Puck and Sean are incredible characters and I love the Celtic feel to the book. If you get around to reading WANDERLOVE, I hope you enjoy it as well!

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  10. This'll be my first school year, kiddo goes into kindergarten. I'm dreading summer ending. And I'm not a summer person! But it went too quickly.

    Congrats on the word count! That's awesome!

    Too many books is a bad thing? ;) My dream is to have a library in my house one day. But then down side would be if I ever had to move again.

    Good luck this week!

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    1. Too many books could never be a bad thing, as long as they're good books! In all honesty, what I'm really doing is clearing room for all the new books I know we'll buy lol. So, it should take no time to clutter up those shelves again! Having a library in your house is a great goal. I hope August is a very full and enjoyable month for you and that fall doesn't come too quickly! :)

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  11. Both WANDERLOVE and THE SCORPIO RACES have been on my TBR for disgustingly long periods of time. I need to get to them soon. Not enough time in the year!

    I too have a lot of books, but the thought of getting rid of any of them is not an option for me. My book collection--which is a mix of fiction, theology, history, music, and other subjects--is a snapshot of me. "Know me, know my library" I say. Further, it's part of my legacy, what my kids will inherit and, hopefully, add to. That said, I'm sure my wife sometimes wishes I had your perspective. :)

    The coffee and donut stout sounds like something I need to try. Does your husband export to the US? :D

    All the best with your writing goals this week!

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    1. I agree that a person's library is a representation of who they are. That's why I'm getting rid of books that we don't like or will never read. Not only do I need more room for the stories that we love, but that other stuff just doesn't mesh with who we are anymore, or it never did. That's the thing about books, I guess. You can buy one and it turns out to be different than you thought it would be. We also have a lot of books that were given to us by well meaning people that missed the mark. So into the donation box they go, and our local symphony will sell them at their annual book sale. Maybe that's the trick to any good personal library--only hang on to books you feel are an extension of yourself. It might also be the trick for a less cluttered house. :D

      As for the coffee and donut stout, I'm not even going to suggest that my husband start exporting it. I think he'd find that idea far too tempting!

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  12. THE SCORPIO RACES is one if my favourite boils of all time, it's just perfect! I heard Maggie Stiefvater talk about it and she was so interesting and funny. I must get around to reading WANDERLOVE everyone seems to love it and I went backpacking after University so it sounds my kind of read, nostalgic if nothing else :)

    I can't believe there is only a month left of summer! It's going too fast!

    Hope you get that scene moved and your three scenes written. Happy writing!

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    1. I can see why THE SCORPIO RACES is one of your favourites! I love the characters and the Celtic feel to it. I hope you enjoy WANDERLOVE too! I've never even come close to experiencing what Bria does in the book, but the story makes me wish I had.

      I've done some tinkering with rearranging my scenes and I think I might have it figured out now. Hopefully anyway!

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  13. I liked Wanderlove but LOVED Scorpio Races. Maggie Stiefvater is such an amazing writer. I can't wait to read her next book in the Raven Boys series.

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    1. I agree that Maggie Stiefvater is an amazing writer. Her prose is beautiful and I always love her characters. I'm eagerly waiting for the next Raven Boys book too. I made the mistake of reading the prologue when she released it, and now it's like slow torture anticipating the full novel!

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  14. Ah! Too much to comment on... First of all, I loved WANDERLOVE, despite not expecting to. I totally agree with you on the taking off with some random dude thing. While I enjoyed that aspect of the story, I'd never advise doing that. (Same goes for JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman. I mean, hello. Have you never seen the movie TAKEN?!) That aside, I think I will read anything put out by Kristin Hubbard from here on in. I've been meaning to get back to THE SCORPIO RACES, but I think I'll wait until the fall. It's such a damp, grey book in tone, so I want to make sure the weather is similar. (Though, can I just say, that weather is not so far off. The heat actually came on yesterday. The heat!! What the crap?! And I've noticed that the leaves have started turning faintly yellow. Bleh.)

    You're making awesome progress on your story. And, as I'm sure you know, I'm around to bounce ideas off of. Bounce away! We're probably overdue for a book culling as well. I find that there's nothing quite like moving to force that on you. Maybe it's time we moved again? I have such a hard time parting with books, but I think there comes a point when you have to ask yourself whether you'll ever read something once or again. Realistically, probably not.

    Have an awesome week! :-)

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    1. I didn't expect to enjoy WANDERLOVE as much as I did either. I figured I would like it well enough, but the way it drew me in was a huge surprise. I was totally thinking of you when I added the bit about not backpacking with some strange dude. We've had this conversation how many times now? While it sounds all romantic, and I enjoyed it on the page, definitely not advisable in real life. That being said, Bria really lucked out. :)

      The first time I picked up THE SCORPIO RACES was right before Christmas, so I read a few pages and put it down. I was in the mood for Christmas carols and gingerbread and sleigh rides, not so much flesh-eating horses. At that time, I only borrowed it from the library too. Now I have my own copy (I knew I'd love it once it wasn't Christmas anymore) and I'm so glad I do!

      I will definitely bounce some more story ideas off you someday soon. With all the shuffling I'm doing now, I'll probably need to discuss the changes I made. As for getting rid of books, it's long overdue for us too. It's always funny to go to the symphony book sale and see our old books on the shelves while we're buying someone else's old books. Hope you have an awesome week too!

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  15. I'm with you, I think the summer has gone by so fast, too fast actually. But I'm looking forward to fall. Good luck with your writing goals. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Fall is my favourite season, so I love that part of it, although I wouldn't be opposed to stopping time right about now so I could get a little more done during the warm months. Hope you have a great writing week too!

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  16. I scaled down my book collection before entering college and made a promise to myself to make good use of my Kindle. Well, as a book blogger I do make good use of my Kindle (it's packed) but I also have tons of ARCs and books I've recently bought floating around so much so that I now have an even bigger collection when combined with books back at home. Oh well, at this point I'm keeping them for now ;) My mom and I cleaned out a lot of our home "childrens book library" and donated a bunch though so that was nice.

    Congrats on your writing goals and good luck with everything coming up!

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    1. Isn't that the way of it? I'm partial to real pages, but my ereader is gradually filling up. I guess books in any form are just too much of a temptation. We're donating the books I weeded out too. The funny thing is we're donating them to our local symphony which hosts the used book sale that's responsible for crowding our many of our shelves in the first place. :D

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  17. Congratulations on all the writing! :D I hope you can get all your summer things done in time too ^^

    I had a book cull back in the Spring. I donated everything I either DNF'd or had no intention of re-reading. I made quite a big dent!

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    1. Thanks! It was kind of a strange writing week, but a good one all said and done. Our local symphony hosts a used book sale every spring (which we always attend), so we're donating the books I cleared out to them. It's amazing what you find on your shelves once you give them a good look through! Plenty that needed to go!

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  18. WANDERLOVE has been on my TBR list for a long time. Hopefully I'll get to read it one day soon. It sounds like something I would enjoy. I think this is another reason why I write/read. My characters (or other characters) can do all the crazy and potentially dangerous things that I wouldn't. Though backpacking across a foreign country with a hot guy that I don't really know sounds like an adventure, I would never do that in real life.

    I do really hope I get to travel one day. I've been to several different states in the U.S. but I hope I can travel to another country or maybe study abroad.

    I'm trying not to think about the summer being almost over. I have a little less than a month left, so I hope I can use the remmainder of my free time to get a lot of writing done.

    I'm a pack rat, so I still have all of my books from when I was a kid and it's insane. I want to eventually give them away because I don't believe in throwing books away but I just can't bring myself to do it.

    Congrats on getting a lot of writing done last week and good luck with this week's goals! :)

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    1. I'm the same way. I have too much common sense to do certain things, so I have to live vicariously through book characters. I haven't traveled anywhere outside of North America, so I'd love to see some more of the world too.

      I'm with you on not throwing away books. I had to put a couple that were completely falling apart in the recycling and I felt awful even doing that. The rest are getting donated to our local symphony, because they host a book sale every year. It's nice to know that maybe someone else will have use for them.

      Hope the rest of your summer will be just as productive as the first part! :)

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  19. Rewriting/reordering scenes is a necessary evil, but once you're finish it will be so worth while. Good luck. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. It always seems like such a chore, but inevitably the second (or third or fourth) version is better. I think I have the order figured out now, so hopefully I can plow ahead with the actual writing part now. Thanks for wishing me luck!

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  20. I have Wanderlove on my bookshelf to read, but I just haven't gotten to it yet. Glad to hear you really enjoyed it.

    Good luck with your plans for this week.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when you get around to reading it! :)

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  21. I have yet to pick up Wanderlove. It's not one I generally would, but I am trying to branch out a little more in my choices, so I may. However, The Scorpio Races is a fave. Maggie Stievater is amazing. I've yet to read anything by her that I didn't absolutely obsess over.

    I think it's so cool that you and your hubby brewed some beer together. Yay you guys!

    Reworking, shuffling, and smoothing scenes are sometimes stressful parts of revision, but I love when the result is a stronger MS. I have had so many moments where I was reluctant to do the work, but glad I pushed through it in the end.

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    1. I'd heard lots of people rave about WANDERLOVE, but I wasn't sure it would appeal to me. I ended up being very pleasantly surprised. I think one of the things I appreciated most was that Kirsten Hubbard didn't sugarcoat the story. While some of her descriptions were beautiful, she didn't shy away from the dirtier, more bug-infested side of the backpacking experience, so it felt real to me.

      I agree that Maggie Stiefvater is amazing. I need to get to her Wolves of Mercy Falls series sometime soon too, and of course the upcoming Raven Boys sequel.

      Last night, I experimented a little with reordering some scenes, and I think I have it figured out now. Possibly. It shouldn't take too much rewriting so that's a plus. You're totally right that it makes the story stronger in the end.

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  22. Wanderlove was great, but Scorpio Races is on my "very very favorites" list. Like, up there with books I loved as a kid, which is hard to crack. So glad you're reading it!

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    1. I haven't gotten to the end of THE SCORPIO RACES yet, but I'm fairly certain Maggie Stiefvater's not going to let me down. I love the Celtic feel of the setting, and it just feels like a classic to me. Pretty sure this one will end up on my favourites list too, and I'm wondering why the heck it took me so long to get around to reading it! :)

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  23. You totally rocked your goals, lady! Way to go! And just so you know, WANDERLOVE and THE SCORPIO RACES are two of my favorites. Clearly, you have excellent taste in books. Best of luck with your shuffling and writing in the coming week. :-)

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    1. I actually aimed low this week thinking my revisions would be more difficult than they were, so I was pretty happy when they only took an evening and I had lots of time leftover for drafting. WANDERLOVE and THE SCORPIO RACES have been the perfect rewards after some long writing nights. I'm not done THE SCORPIO RACES yet, but I'm fairly certain it'll be joining WANDERLOVE on my list of favourites too. :)

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  24. Mmm that beer sounds so yummy! Thanks for the encouraging comments on my blog :) I hope you're revisions go well this week! I, too, need to get my butt into gear.

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    1. It was really good! The flavour of coffee and beer actually compliment one another quite well. And you've left plenty of encouraging comments on my blog, so I'm more than happy to give you a boost when you need it! Have an awesome week! :)

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  25. I've heard so much about WANDERLOVE. Might be the feel-good wanderlust story I need for a break from my usual fare. I'm SO THRILLED you're reading The Scorpio Races. I adore that book! It basically made me a Stiefvater fan, and it's on my forever favorites shelf. It is a beautiful book. *flails*

    Good on you for fighting off the book hoarding tendency. I sort of did that when I was buying new bookshelves, but I wasn't able to give up much. I love my books too much! :( But I have WAAAAAAAAY too many & not enough room AT ALL. Those new shelves filled up almost instantly. :P

    Good luck with your writing goals. I'll have to check out your Love List after this!

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    1. I finished THE SCORPIO RACES shortly after I put up this post, and I loved it so much! It made me cry like a baby at the end. The characters, the gorgeous prose, and the Celtic feel to the setting all made it a new favourite for me. Maggie Stiefvater is amazing!

      It should be easier to get rid of books that I have no intention of ever reading, but when you love books so much, something about parting with them seems wrong, even if they aren't great books. I'm sure I'll fill up the blank spaces in our shelves again in no time too! :)


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  26. The Scorpio Races was so good! I'd heard a lot about it ever since it came out, and I finally broke down and listened to the audio version a few months ago. I was actually sad when the book was over and I had to leave the characters. Hope you continue to love it!

    Good luck getting more written before school starts! I'm racing against time here, too. The days are suddenly going very fast.

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  27. I'll need to write WANDERLOVE and THE SCORPIO RACES down. I love seeing what everyone else is reading!

    I hear you about school and all...ours start in a couple of weeks! I look forward to the structure but will miss the flexibility, if that even makes sense.

    We move every couple of years through the military and I think our library takes up half our baggage! Hahahahah. Good luck in your paring down of books! It is so hard for us. :)

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