Am writing, am reading, am doing

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How’s everyone going these school holidays? Coping? Doing exceptionally well? Or ready to chuck the kids back into the school system a week early even if they won’t be supervised? We are doing ok, with occasional bouts of intense sibling squabbles. You know how it goes… Here’s a round-up for me this last week or so:

READING:

So, after reading The Lake House, I’ve continued on to read A.L. Tait’s final book Breath of the Dragon in The Mapmaker Chronicles series. They are great books for young readers to clap eyes on, and let their imaginations run wild.

I am currently reading two books at once: On Writing by Stephen King and All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews. King’s book is recommended as The Book To Read if you dream of being a writer/author but until now I had never delved into it. He has some great ideas and  interesting theories on not only writing but also life. I haven’t finished yet, but am enjoying it so far. Toews’ novel is interesting, and as the quote by Margaret Atwood on the front cover says, it is “funny but wrenchingly sad” and for what I have read to this point, this is a very succinct statement.

WRITING:

Anthology – the next exercise that is leading towards our finished pieces is due Sunday and I finished that last night. I’ll leave it a couple of days and then go back and edit it before posting it for the group to critique.

Manuscript – editing what I have previously written and swapping the order of a few bits as suggested by my writing group. I’m having fun with it again and look forward to being able to work on it. Once I’m through with these edits I’ll get back to the proper writing again. Do you edit as you go or just vomit it all out onto paper or screen and edit at the very end?

FARM:

We’re still waiting for decent rain! There have been a few little showers (11mm, 22mm, 3mm) but at the moment they’ve been good for nothing except grow weeds and grass in the paddocks. So Nigel has been spraying the last few days to get on top of the feathertop and weeds, but we can’t plant any sorghum yet until it rains properly. The nice green tinge that was on my lawn is slowly disappearing so I’d best water it in the next couple of days.

EVERYTHING ELSE:

We had two nights out at the dam for New Year’s Eve and New Year. The first day was great – a bit of skiing, nice enough weather (it’s wasn’t melting hot) and not too many boats on the water at all. The next day though, the boat had a bit of a hissy fit and so we were left to kayak, swim and laze about. It didn’t end up being a terrible thing, as the dam was inundated with boats for New Year’s day festivities and quite frankly the water was rather choppy. With the water level down a bit also, it doesn’t leave much room for too many boats on the water.

The 3.5 year old on the kneeboard by herself, with dad next to her on another

The 3.5 year old on the kneeboard by herself, with dad next to her on another

Heading off to check the pots for red-claw

Heading off to check the pots for red-claw

The kids and I have just been to Rocky for a couple of nights to do back-to-school shopping. Now we just have to pick up the school books from the local Newsagency and uniforms from the school and we are set. The lady who sold us our school shoes said that she had done 17,000 steps in one day in her shop and lost a kilogram in a week it has been that busy! Craziness.

Today sees us heading to the pool in town with a few other kids and lunch at the pub after. So very civilised 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week!  

What we’re all reading over the Christmas/NY break

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In between reading Go Set a Watchman and my latest book (below), I’ve also managed to read Aussie author Peter Watt‘s latest in his Frontier series, Beneath a Rising Sun. It’s well worth the read and continues on with the Duffy/Macintosh saga – I’ll get to a review in the next little while!

I’ve quickly become engrossed in another Aussie author’s newest novel, The Lake House by Kate Morton. So far it is a splendid book at get caught up in when I should be doing other things! It’s a big one at 591 pages, but I’m already at 219 and keen to get back to it.

Clive Cussler‘s The Pharaoh’s Secret is being read by my husband, and it will go into my to-read pile once he’s finished!

At the moment, my boy has two books on the go: Book 3 (Lost) of The Crafters’ Club series by Louise Guy and The 65-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths. If you have kids that are obsessed with the game Minecraft, Louise’s series are a must-get and the six books will keep them busy for a while in these school holidays. We haven’t read any Andy Griffiths books before, and this first one is proving to be a hit – I’ll have to read it myself once he is finished!

My eldest daughter received a hardcopy of the classic children’s story Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White for Christmas and she is loving it. The littlest of the family is enthralled with her Peppa Pig books as well a new little owl book that was a Christmas gift. It was wonderful to find them in the same bed a few days ago all reading their own books quietly while the rest of the house slept. That, my friends, made my heart melt.

Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee

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I am 19 pages into my current book, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. I don’t think I need to introduce this one; it came into publication this year (2015) to much funfare and heated discussion. I’ve had the hard-copy in my ‘to read’ pile for a while now and I’m only just getting around to it.

I look forward to finding out if I am in the group of people who thoroughly dislike it vs. those who were disappointed in this follow-up to To Kill a Mockingbird vs. those who enjoyed it!

Have you read it? Did you like it or not? 
Let me know - but don't give away the ending!